By Scott Gilfoid: Team Luis Ortiz are saying that the fight with Anthony Joshua will NOT take place on June 1st. They say that Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn made “low ball offers,” and he never sent a contract. It was all just a “gimmick.” They say that they were told to “stay quiet” so that the fight could get negotiated, but Hearn only gave them “low ball” offers.
Team Luis Ortiz didn’t say how low the offers were from Hearn, but if they were a lot lower than the $6 million that Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller was going to get for the Joshua fight on June 1, it’s understandable why they would be upset. You would think that Ortiz would get the same offer as Miller, considering he’s arguably more well known, more popular and ore talented than him. It sounds like a duck job on Hearn and Joshua’s part. Ortiz is a guy that Joshua has had a chance to fight for the last three years, and he hasn’t taken the fight. This isn’t new. Ortiz is like the third rail in a subway. You don’t want to touch that third rail or you get zapped.
If Hearn offered former heavyweight world title challenger Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) less than what Miller was offered, it suggests that there was never any serious interest in getting the talented southpaw for the fight. I mean, if you don’t want someone to fight your guy, you give them low ball offers that are so low that they’ll never accept them. By Hearn at least making an offer, it gives him cover so that that he can tell the boxing fans and media, ‘Well, I tried to make the Joshua vs. Ortiz fight. Ortiz didn’t accept the deal. It was a great offer…blah, blah, blah…etc.’
Here’s Luis “King Kong” Ortiz’s social media post about him not accepting the fight with Joshua:
“It’s a no go for June 1. Sorry, guys. We were told to stay quiet as long as possible, and play possum until the fight had been made, because every time someone called Luis out, it would be a gimmick to promote themselves, but it didn’t work. [I] just received news from [my] promoter that it is a NO GO, and it was all a gimmick. No contract was ever sent. So, sorry, guys…Luis really wanted this title shot.”
Of all the fighters for Hearn to give a low ball offer to, why would he pick Luis Ortiz at this point? Hearn’s got to know that he BADlY needs a replacement opponent to fill in for Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller after he tested positive for PEDs. Ortiz would be the perfect guy to come in and bring even more interest to Joshua’s June 1 debut in the U.S than “Big Baby” would have.
So, there it is. This is so, so sad. Ortiz is out of the running for the Joshua fight on June 1. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Hearn is going to offer the Joshua fight to one of his Mathroom Boxing stable fighters. Michael Hunter is almost surely going to be the one that gets the fight. He’s America, a 2012 U.S Olympian, and he’s signed with Hearn. It’s the trifecta.
For the 40-year-old Ortiz to turn down the fight with Joshua, it’s got to have been a LOW offer that was given to him. At Ortiz’s age, he’s not going to get too many more title shot opportunities. You have to wonder how low this offer was. Did Hearn offer Ortiz have of what Miller is offered and give it to him as a take it or leave it offer? When a promoter doesn’t want to make a fight, they can find ways of not making it by half-stepping it with low ball offers.
Joshua, 29, supposedly wanted the fight with Ortiz. If that’s true, then he certainly could have spoken up and told Hearn to make the fight happen with the Cuban southpaw no matter what. It’s likely Hearn was checking in with Joshua every step of the way in giving him updated progress reports on the status of the Ortiz negotiations. If Joshua really wanted the fight with Ortiz, he would likely tell Hearn to offer him the same amount that Miller was going to get. With that kind of cash, it’s hard to imagine Ortiz rejecting it. $6 million is good money.
We’re going to see Hearn trot out the likes of Manuel Charr, Hunter or Trevor Bryan for Joshua’s June 1 fight at Madison Square Garden in New York. Having one of those guys as Joshua’s opponent will effect of shutting down whatever interest there was from the casual boxing fans in the U.S in watching the fight live on DAZN or at MSG. Hearn either doesn’t realize how big the U.S, and how they have no idea who these fighters are, or he simply doesn’t care. He just wants Joshua to win and look good in a showcase fight for his debut in the United States.
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder showed MASSIVE courage in taking on Luis Ortiz last year, and having to go through agony to pull out the victory from the jaws of defeat in stopping the talented Cuban in the 10th round. Wilder was on the brink of disaster in the seventh round when he was knocked silly by a SCORCHING left to the head from Ortiz. That shot had Wilder temporarily discombobulated, and barely able to stand up while Ortiz flurried on him with everything in his arsenal. If Ortiz had simply stayed calm and placed his punches better, he probably would have knocked Deontay out. Ortiz got a little too carried away and ended up exhausting himself trying to finish Deontay. Wilder was lucky the referee didn’t stop the fight because some referees would have under those conditions. Ortiz was teeing off on him BIG TIME.
Wilder and Ortiz have wanted to fight Joshua for ages, but there’s never been a concerted effort on Eddie’s part to make the fights. Instead of making those fights for Joshua, Hearn has been matching him against guys like Carlos Takam, Eric Molina, Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin. Those are fringe level fighters nowadays, and not in the class of Deontay or Ortiz.