Luis Ortiz won’t be facing WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua on June 1st (unless there is a dramatic, unforeseen u-turn; Ortiz’ people recently saying no to promoter Eddie Hearn’s “low-ball offer”), but Hearn says the fight can still happen, after June 1. And, in speaking to the gathered media after last night’s Juan Estrada-Srisaket sor Rungvisai battle, Hearn said that if and when AJ and Ortiz fight, Joshua “destroys” Ortiz.
“Listen, Anthony Joshua would destroy Luis Ortiz, three rounds, no problem,” Hearn said as picked up by Seconds Out. “And if Ortiz wants it, it can happen after June 1st.”
There is talk that Ortiz is next in line to fight WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder, who he would be fighting in a rematch, after Wilder has gotten past Dominic Breazeale on May 18th. In fact, there is talk that Wilder’s next two challengers for after the Breazeale mandatory are in place (though not official or signed): Ortiz in a rematch and then unbeaten Polish slugger Adam Kownacki.
“This shows you how serious they [Team-Wilder] are about the unification fight with Joshua,” Hearn said.
Ortiz, as old as he is, IS a dangerous foe for any heavyweight, and if Joshua did fight him and destroy him as quickly and effortlessly as Hearn says would be the case, AJ would doubtless get a good amount of praise. Ortiz is a southpaw, he can punch and he has a ton of experience, amateur and pro.
Which makes you wonder why Wilder, who was badly hurt by Ortiz in their March 2018 fight, would want to fight the guy a second time when really he doesn’t have to. Maybe Ortiz turned down that offer from Hearn to fight Joshua because he has in fact got a deal in place to fight Wilder again later this year. We’ll find out in due course.
As for AJ, we still await confirmation of his June 1st challenger. The two names being most spoken of now are Andy Ruiz and Trevor Bryan. Hearn says that the last thing he wants is for AJ to flatten an opponent who is merely turning up for the payday, that he instead wants to see Joshua tested in his U.S debut. Which of these two, Ruiz and Bryan, is best equipped to give AJ that testing fight?