By Ryan Burton
Who WBA/WBO/IBF/IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua faces next is still up in the air.
The plan was for him to face domestic rival Dillian Whyte in a rematch on April 13th at Wembley Stadium but Matchroom Boxing's Eddie Hearn has thus far been unable to reach an agreement with Whyte.
There has also been talk of Joshua instead making his debut on U.S. soil in June against top unbeaten heavyweight contender Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller in New York.
Another top contender, Luis Ortiz, has also heard his name mentioned and when asked for comment said that he would have problem facing Joshua on either the April date in the U.K. or in June in New York.
His name has been tossed around by other top heavyweights in the past so he isn't holding his breath that a fight will actually come to fruition.
“Listen, I heard you mention my name two weeks ago and I didn’t feel like responding because maybe like Whyte and (Joe) Joyce, you were just using my name to show you got some cojones which I believe you do. But just in case, maybe Eddie hasn’t informed you that my manager has already reached out to him. It was last month before you made that comment about me and advised him I’m available," said Ortiz to BoxingScene.com.
“So look, if you want to fight I’m here and stop saying I priced myself out because I’ve never had no offers to fight you. With all respect to you for all you have done, I’ll fight you for just about any money you offer me so if you can’t work out the Miller fight, I’m here and ready. I’ll fight you in the USA or UK. It’s on you and if you think you’re that good and want to test yourself who better than me? Wilder and Fury are not available and I believe in my heart to be the best you must face the best."
Ortiz is currently scheduled to face Christian Hammer on March 2nd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The fight will be part of a Showtime card that is headlined by Bryan Castano defending his super welterweight title against Erislandy Lara.
The 39-year-old Cuban is looking to keep up his busy schedule in 2019 but his ultimate goal is to fight for a world title again. Last March he almost upset WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. He had the champion nearly out on his feet in the 7th round but was unable to finish him off. Wilder recovered and stopped Ortiz in the 10th round.
"The only reason I am trying to reach out to you like this is because maybe just maybe your people don’t relay you the truth so here it is papa. Now the ball is in your court. In my world I’m the boss. Don’t get me wrong I listen to my advisers and promoters but at the end everyone knows we make the last call so just let me know ASAP. Your people know how to get a hold of my people," Ortiz said.
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