Joshua Blasts Ortiz For Turning Down Fight

Heading into his June 1st debut in the United States, unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is confused. He is not confused about what to do with his opponent Andy Ruiz Jr, but confused on what made Luis Ortiz and his team turn down $7 million to fight him inside Madison Square Garden.

“I’m not here to disrespect Ortiz or anything like that,” Joshua told IFL TV this week. “Or make him out like I’m just gonna offer him a fight, he takes it and I’m gonna smash him. I wanted to offer him a fight because it was a good challenge and someone who could test me. But however, they turned down a lucrative offer.

“I don’t know if they were trying to hold us to ransom, they wanted more out of the deal, but they turned down the offer for reasons I don’t know. Look, these people have got smart people around them and whatever decisions they choose to make is far beyond my knowledge.”

While Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, said that Ortiz turned down a fight with Joshua because PBC boss Al Haymon promised the Cuban southpaw a rematch against WBC champion Deontay Wilder, Joshua believes if you’re offered a shot at the world title and you have that kind of money on the table, you take it.

“In my opinion,” Joshua said, “when I had the opportunity to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world [against Charles Martin], they came to my territory [London], fought with my broadcaster [Sky Sports], I had to do all the PR work and stuff. I took the short end of the stick because I knew what it meant to get my hands on that [IBF] title. So, when I was called out by the heavyweight champion of the world, I said, ‘Rob, I wanna take this with both hands.’ He said, ‘Josh, it’s going into your 16th fight. Once you fight for the title, there’s no chance of coming back.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but I want this opportunity, because I wanna be champion of the world.’ And we took it.

“So, when people are being offered an opportunity to become heavyweight champion of the world and, ‘Ah, it’s not enough. Oh, I ain’t got enough time,’ I’m thinking it goes against what I stand for, what my values and morals are. So, I don’t know why he would miss out on an opportunity, because it’s what everyone dreams of at the end of the day. That’s what dreams are made of.”

Initial Report: Boxing Scene

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