Joshua wants Luis Ortiz if Fury or Wilder won’t fight him
By Trevor McIntyre: Anthony Joshua states that if he can’t get fights against Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury, after he defeats Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller, then he’s going to go after the highly ranked, well-respected #3 WBC Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (30-1, 26 KOs) for his next fight.
Joshua will be defending against Miller on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The fight is already considered a win for Joshua, and he’s looking at the heavyweight landscape for his next fight.
First and foremost, IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) wants to face WBC champion Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) so that the two of them can unify the division, but if that fight and a match against Fury fight can’t get made, then he would look to the 39-year-old Ortiz. What’s interesting is Joshua makes no mention of Dillian Whyte in discussing his target list of heavyweights that he wants to face. Either Joshua no longer rates Whyte as he did before or he sees him as a fighter who has priced himself out of the running for a rematch against him. It’s also possible that Joshua has noticed what the boxing fans are saying about Whyte, who many of them see as well below Ortiz in terms of talent, and he’s now taken him off his list. Joshua ignoring Whyte won’t make his promoter Eddie Hearn pleased, because that’s a fight that he badly wants to make. Hearn promotes Whyte as well as Joshua, so it’s in his best interest to put those two together. It might not be in Joshua’s best interest to take a retread fight against Whyte, but it certainly helps Hearn and his promotional company Matchroom Sport.
It’s kind of overdue on Joshua’s part in looking in the direction of Ortiz for a fight, because the Cuban talent has been ignored by him and Hearn for years now. Whether they did that intentionally due to the risk involved in facing Ortiz is debatable. Some boxing fans think that Hearn and Joshua have swerved Ortiz in order to wait until he aged more before finally making a fight with him. This is the same thing that a lot of boxing fans think Golden Boy Promotions and their star Saul Canelo Alvarez did in choosing not to fight Gennady Golovkin years ago. When they did finally face him after several years, he was 35, and not the same guy that had been demolishing his competition.
“It’s a perfect move to come to the USA to fight at MSG,” Joshua said to the Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM. “He’s [Jarrell Miller] from Brooklyn, New York. It made sense to fight here. I establish myself here. We then look straight at Luis Ortiz, if Wilder and Fury isn’t ready, because my strategy was to fight Wilder in April, but he wasn’t interested,” Joshua said.
You can argue that Joshua, 29, should be fighting Ortiz now on June 1 instead of the American Jarrell Miller. Joshua would likely be respected more by the hardcore boxing fans if he had selected Ortiz than he would with Miller, who is considered to have an inflated resume filed with weak opposition to make him look better than he actually is. It’s pretty clear that it was Hearn that wanted Joshua to fight Miller on June 1 rather than the other way around. Hearn recently signed a co-promotional deal with ‘Big Baby’ Miller, which immediately put him on the list of future opponents for Joshua. Once Miller is beaten, Joshua will look to face more serious opponents. Hearn will then need to decide what to do with Miller. Keep him with Matchroom or cast him off, and look for more talented fighters to keep on the payroll. Miller is a good talker, so he can useful to sell fights similar to how Adrien Broner is able to sell his fights.
“So now we’ve come to the States to show that if you don’t want to do it on our turf [the UK], then we can come here and box on your turf,” Joshua said about Wilder. “So it’s a power move just as well as a passionate move as he love for the sport. So once I get ‘Big Baby’ out of the way, if Wilder and Fury still aren’t interested, because they’re blacklisting me, they don’t want me to be leading the pack, as such, in terms of negotiations, which is weird to me, because there’s enough for everyone to eat, then I can look straight at Luis Ortiz. That’s the next guy that I feel like, once I’ve broken the market in the USA, that’s a good fighter to fight,” Joshua said.
Joshua says it’s a power move for him to come over to the U.S to fight on Wilder’s and now Tyson Fury’s turf. Former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Fury recently signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank Boxing, which will have him fighting in the U.S twice per year. Joshua needs to keep coming over to the U.S repeatedly for fights to put pressure on Wilder and Fury. If Joshua’s fight with Miller in the United States is just a one and done type of thing, then it’s not going to help him put pressure on Wilder to fight him. Joshua would need to continue come over to the U.S to fight if he wants to pull a power move to put pressure on Wilder from the American public. Even then, Joshua will need to fight a lot better opposition than the 315 pound Jarrell Miller to have the U.S boxing public to pressure Wilder to fight him. Luis Ortiz is an excellent start for Joshua if he’s serious about wanting to make a name for himself in America. There wouldn’t be a need for AJ to fight Ortiz or Miller in the U.S if Hearn would give Wilder and Fury the 50-50 split that they’re both asking for in order to agree to a fight against him. If Joshua doesn’t want to give them n equal split, then fighting in the U.S might be a waste of time on his part because it won’t lead to fights with Deontay and Fury.
“‘Big Baby’ is good, but these guys [Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and Luis Ortiz] are elite,” Joshua said in naming the big three heavyweights in the division, besides himself, that he feel are the elite guys that he wants to fight.
Whyte must feel left out with Joshua failing to lump him in with Wilder, Fury and Ortiz as an elite level heavyweight. Ortiz doesn’t have as many names on his resume as Whyte, but the way that he performed against Wilder last March showed that he’s a level of above Dillian in talent. Ortiz came close to beating Wilder. That was one of the most exciting heavyweight fights of the year last year. Ortiz showed excellent punching power and boxing skills. He fought like a guy in his 20s rather than a guy in his late 30s. It was a fine performance by Ortiz.
“100 percent,” Joshua said when asked if he believes he can beat Wilder, Fury and Ortiz. “Stats and facts. I’ve been in the game less [time], but I’ve swam deeper, and I’ve come u top each time. I think it’s great that [boxing fans say], ‘I don’t think you can beat Wilder. I don’t think you can beat Fury.’ The division is thriving as a whole,” Joshua said.