Luis Ortiz expects to face Klitschko after he beats Joshua April 29
Luis Ortiz expects Wladimir Klitschko to outmaneuver Anthony Joshua in their two-belt heavyweight championship on April 29 at Wembley Stadium in London.
Ortiz (27-0, 23 knockouts) is the WBA’s mandatory to face the winner of Joshua-Klitschko and plans to be ringside, where he predicts Klitschko’s savvy will carry him to a win against the physically imposing 27-year-old. “I’m planning on being there,” Ortiz told RingTV.com though a translator on Thursday before a press conference to formally announce his next fight against Derric Rossy on April 22 at Barclays Center on the undercard of Shawn Porter-Andre Berto.
“I really think that Klitschko should win,” he went on. “I just feel Klitschko is the experienced fighter and he should win the fight, but obviously, this is boxing and anything can happen. But I think he should win the fight.” Ortiz signed with powerful manager Al Haymon on Wednesday afternoon and was on a flight hours later to New York City to publicized his first fight under the Haymon flag.
His manager, Jay Jimenez said they were on a fight-by-fight basis with promoter Eddie Hearn last year and that it was time to make a move and accelerate Ortiz’s movement after he fought twice with Hearn. Jimenez believes Hearn’s attention was too focused on working on a U.S. network deal for Joshua-Klitschko and Ortiz got lost in the quagmire. Though a deal is not done, Showtime appears to be the frontrunner to air the bout on April 29.
“Eddie kind of went cold on us,” Jimenez said. “I think he had too much on his plate with Klitschko-Joshua. The networks weren’t giving him a deal. HBO has Klitschko and Showtime has Joshua. It’s been a mess. So, he was kind of back and forth in limbo and all he would tell me is, ‘I’ll let you know.’ I can’t keep waiting and I believe no opponent was going to take a fight with Luis on short notice.”
Despite a break in the relationship — Ortiz is now promoted fully by Dade Promotions — he’s not concerned in working with Hearn again if Joshua comes out the winner against Klitschko. Hearn promotes Joshua. “I don’t think there should be any issues,” Ortiz said. “My manager mentioned they were going fight-by-fight so it wasn’t anything. There wasn’t any type of fallout. It should be fine.”
Jimenez said that Haymon didn’t outright promise him a fight with Deontay Wilder, the WBC titleholder, as a condition for signing with him, only that he would get him fights against the top boxers. Jimenez believes that Haymon will eventually let Ortiz face Wilder. “I think he will,” Jimenez told RING. “I’ve never seen him stop any of his guys (from taking challenges). People call everybody a cherry-picker. I don’t think so. I mean he put Danny (Garcia) with Keith Thurman (on March 4 in Brooklyn). He’s going to put the best with the best when the time is right and they can make money. It’s a business. Whatever Haymon says we do, we do.”
Jimenez is hoping Ortiz can fight three times in 2017, same as last year. If the bout against the winner of Klitschko-Joshua doesn’t happen right away, Jimenez is hoping that Haymon gives him a fight in June or July. “Haymon is where it’s at,” Jimenez said. “I think it’s where he needs to be.”