We still await confirmation regarding who WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua will fight on June 1st in his American debut, yet the name of Luis Ortiz can now be crossed off the six-man list that was released by promoter Eddie Hearn. As per an announcement from Ortiz’ promotional team King Kong Boxing, the “low-ball offers” sent from Hearn “will not be accepted.”
The message put out on instagram also stated how “No contract even ever got sent so sorry to all the loyal fans. Luis really wanted this title shot.”
The written statement said that Ortiz’ name was merely used as a “gimmick” and that it is “a no-go” for June 1st. So the search goes on for A.J’s next challenger, who will of course replace drugs cheat Jarrell Miller. The name of Adam Kownacki now joins those of Agit Kabayel, Michael Hunter, Manuel Charr, Trevor Bryan and Andy Ruiz.
All along it seemed too good to be true that Joshua would fight Cuban southpaw Ortiz next. With just over six weeks to go until his U.S debut, this fight was simply too dangerous; even if A.J himself had (according to Hearn) expressed most interest in a fight with Ortiz compared to the other replacement possibilities. Of course we have no real idea what the offer from Hearn to Ortiz was, but it must have been pretty derisory for Ortiz to turn it down flat the way he and his team have done.
Then again, it could be argued how even a poor cash offer is worth taking when a fighter is as confident of victory as Ortiz is, this fight being a shot at the world title the 40 year old may never get offered again. If you truly think you will KO Joshua as you say, then why not take the “low-ball” offer, win the fight and THEN call the shots?
Anyway, it’s history now, and we await the announcement of who Joshua will fight next, as we do with Ortiz, come to that. Will the Cuban warrior live to regret not taking this big, big opportunity?