Heavyweight Joe Joyce wants a fight against former world title challenger Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz, and his manager Sam Jones believes that fight will take place. Joyce (6-0, 6 KOs) and Ortiz 29-1, 25 KOs) will both be fighting on the undercard of Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury at the Staples Center in Los Angels, California.
It’s early on for Joyce to be taking a fight against a fighter with Ortiz’s experience, but the British fighter has no choice. Joyce is 33, and he’s had no luck in getting Dereck Chisora, Dillian Whyte or Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller to fight him. None of them have shown any desire to get inside the ring with Joyce. His manager Sam Jones is said to be looking to make a bigger offer to Miller for a fight, but that’s not likely going to budge the 315 lb fighter to accept a fight against him. Miller has a good thing going with him signed to Matchroom Boxing. They’re getting Miller ready to fight Anthony Joshua in a fight or two. Joyce would spoil those plans potentially. Joyce can’t take the slow approach to getting a title shot the way other fighters do. He started his pro career late, and he’s got to push faster to get a crack at a title before he’s too old. The thing is, Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has no incentive to want to put a fight together between him and Joyce. He obviously knows that Joyce was arguably robbed in the 2016 Olympic final against Tony Yoka, and the guy is too talented to risk his golden goose Joshua against him. There are three guys in the heavyweight division that Hearn has shown interest in putting in with Joshua, and they are as follows: Deontay Wilder, Luis Ortiz and Joe Joyce. It’s a compliment to Joyce that Hearn wants no part of matching Joshua against him, but it’s still a negative all the same. He needs Joshua and Hearn to want to make that fight. If Joyce can beat Ortiz, he’ll get moved to the #1 spot in the rankings and he can then force the issue.
Joyce will be facing Joe Hanks (23-2, 15 KOs) in a 10 round fight in the first fight of the televised portion of the Showtime Boxing PPV card. For his part, Ortiz will be battling Travis Kauffman (32-2, 23 KOs) in a 10 round fight on the PPV portion of the card as well. Joyce’s fight against Hanks figures to be the more competitive affair than the Ortiz-Kauffman fight, which is a total mismatch on paper.
It will happen pic.twitter.com/ZvYK5oJ7pu
Joyce is the only guy beside Deontay Wilder has shown interest in fighting Ortiz. Joshua wants no part of fighting him. Ortiz is clearly the most avoided contender in the heavyweight division today.
“Sparring against Tyson Fury was really top-level work,” Joyce said. “I know that it’s made me a better fighter. He’s looking fit and strong and it shows when you’re in the ring with him. This is a great opportunity. Abel Sanchez has done a tremendous job getting me ready for this position. I’m excited to show everyone my skills and everything I’ve learned.”