Joshua vs. Ortiz May Happen in 2017
IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is in talks for a super-fight with Wladimir Klitschko, and he may have more big fights on the horizon. Promoter Eddie Hearn says he believes a showdown with Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz is in the cards for next year.
Ortiz (25-0, 22 KOs) recently signed with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and will be fighting Malik Scott in Monte Carlo in November. With the heavyweight division in a stir after Tyson Fury’s belts were vacated, Ortiz will look to insert himself into the running for a big fight in 2017.
"Luis Ortiz against Joshua could be a huge fight for 2017 and we have no problem in making that fight if it is the right move," Hearn told Sky Sports.
"People get the impression that AJ is mollycoddled, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Look at the Martin fight, everyone looks back and says it was an easy fight, but at the time they were saying it was a hard fight that was coming too early."
Hearn says that Joshua wants big challenges rather than easy victories, and a fight with the dangerous Ortiz represents the kind of risk he’s willing to take.
"If the reward is there to take the risk against Ortiz, who is very dangerous, and the fight is big enough, then yes, let’s do it.
"We want to build the profile of Ortiz so he can’t be ignored and get him in a high value position so he can get these big fights against the best heavyweights out there."
Ortiz’s fight on Nov. 12 will not be the last of the year, if all goes according to plan. Hearn says he wants Ortiz to fight on the undercard of the planned fight between Joshua and former champion Wladimir Klitschko, which may happen in December.
"The plan is for Ortiz to fight on November 12 in Monaco against Malik Scott, then on the undercard of AJ later in the year and then get him out in the United States in February or March of next year."