Luis Ortiz “would love” the opportunity to face Anthony Joshua, if the Brit requires an interim opponent while he awaits a rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua activated a rematch clause to fight again for the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles after Usyk stunned him last September, but it is unclear when the Ukrainian will be ready to return to the ring amid his country’s invasion by Russia.
Earlier this week Joshua dropped his biggest hint yet that he is considering taking on another opponent in the short-term, as he name-checked the likes of Otto Wallin and Joe Joyce during a series of tweets.
A name Joshua didn’t mention, but has been linked with, is veteran Cuban Ortiz, who took his professional record to 33-2 with a knockout win over ‘Prince’ Charles Martin in January.
Ortiz’s manager Jay Jimenez said: “Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz would love an opportunity to step up to the challenge of facing Joshua.”Sponsored Links
Both the defeats on Ortiz’s record came against former world champion Deontay Wilder, but the Cuban otherwise possesses an impressive list of victories.
Wallin: I’m AJ’s best option
Swedish heavyweight Wallin, whose only career defeat came in a points loss to world champion Tyson Fury, claims he is the “best option” to face Joshua.
Wallin had been set to fight Dillian Whyte last October before the Brit was forced to withdraw with a shoulder injury.
The fact that Wallin and Ortiz are both southpaws, like Usyk, has led to suggestions they are the most viable interim opponents for Joshua.
“I’m by far the best option here,” Wallin wrote on Twitter. “Wilder is coming off back-to-back KO losses against Fury that I took the distance and sent to the hospital to get 47 stitches.
“Ortiz got dropped twice by Charles Martin that Joshua wiped out in 2 rounds.
“I think Joe Joyce could give AJ a good fight but he’s nothing like Usyk.
“The only reason Joshua wouldn’t pick me as the opponent is because they know I’m a big threat and I’ll hand him his third loss.”