Eddie Hearn Announces Luis Ortiz Signing – Undefeated Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz (25-0) has signed a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom Boxing firm. The British promoter has promised more details will be announced this coming Monday. Until recently, Ortiz was signed to Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions but the big Cuban and GBP worked out a release prior to the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Liam Smith PPV this past September. Ortiz’ was tentatively scheduled to face Alexander Ustinov on that PPV show but the match was never finalized.
Eddie Hearn, who has established himself as one of the movers and shakers in the world of boxing, has been all over the news and the heavyweight scene of late,. He is the guiding hand behind Britain’s IBF world titleholder Anthony Joshua and has been working overtime to try and secure a November match for Joshua against Wladimir Klitschko.
Now, very few will criticize Hearn if his Monday announcement is a showdown between the hard hitting WBA interim belt holder Ortiz and Anthony Joshua, but we are more likely to get news from England that the Queen has gone and tattooed herself with a tramp stamp. Nevertheless you can count on the shrewd Hearn to be working to put a plan in place for all his heavyweight assets.
What Hearn wants is to see is Joshua facing Wladimir Klitschko with as many belts on the line as possible. A lot is dependent on the WBA and WBO taking the action of stripping Tyson Fury of the world titles he holds. If they are faced with Fury’s lawyers, they may decide to allow him a grace period and there is no assurance that the WBA and WBO will both move in the same direction. That is where having a guiding hand like Hearn playing puppet-master may help to move things along.
Prior to the collapse of the Oct. 29th match-up between Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko, Hearn was on record as stating that New Zealand’s Joseph Parker was the top contender to face Joshua on November 26th in Manchester. The 24-year-old Parker held up his end of the bargain with a third round KO of Alexander Dimitrenko on October 1st that elevated his pro record to 21-0. That win tightened Parker’s grasp as the #1 ranked contender under the IBF sanctioning body. For the record, the IBF does not rank Luis Ortiz or Wladimir Klitschko anywhere in their rankings.
Joshus-Klitschko may not be as difficult to solve as it may seem. The IBF belt is in Joshua’s hands because of a chain of events that was initiated by the IBF when they stripped Fury of the belt. At that point, Klitschko was an afterthought and the sanctioning body did not rank him. That step can be corrected by Klitschko paying a fee and re-initiating his activity with the IBF, and at that point he would have to rank pretty high. Looking back at Klitschko’s career, it was in fact the IBF world heavyweight title that he held the longest, defending the belt 17 times before losing it to Fury. Klitschko’s history being what it is, the IBF could sanction a match between him and Joshua for the IBF belt. Joseph Parker would be paid for stepping aside and he would wait in the wings to challenge the winner.
Ortiz is the x-factor here, because Parker versus Ortiz is a mouthwatering match-up, but not one the New Zealander is likely to accept. He is guided by 1988 Olympic silver medalist Kevin Barry, another shrewd boxing head who will move to protect his fighter. Parker has no reason to be the guy to step up and face the menacing Ortiz on short notice since their names have never been associated as opponents before.
The WBA could strip Fury or put his title into “recess” and elevate Ortiz to the full version of the WBA world title. Under the WBA rankings, the top contender behind Ortiz is Wladimir Klitschko. As the veteran fighter who was preparing to fight Fury on October 29th, Klitschko would also seem to be the most prepared fighter to take on Ortiz and that fight could be for the WBA world title. This would put the Parker vs Joshua match in play.
The main events for Hearn’s November 26th offering in Manchester could turn out to look as follows:
For the IBF world title: Joseph Parker vs Anthony Joshua
For the WBA world title: Wladimir Klitschko vs Luis Ortiz
The WBO, which ranks Parker #1 and Klitschko #2 is in a desirable spot. If Ortiz and Joshua win, the WBO could recognize them in the top two spots instead, and the winners could be asked to fight with the three belts at stake sometime in early 2017.
The machinations of doing business in boxing are often more complicated once TV and other business partners enter the equation, and there is no assurance that any of this is what Hearn has in mind. The second-generation British promoter is a cinch to win any “Promoter of the Year” awards and you can count on him trying to close out strong. The above scenario would certainly be a jewel in his crown. Hey Eddie, let’s make it happen!
Eddie Hearn Announces Luis Ortiz Signing / Check out more on the Heavyweight Scene with analyst Kid Hersh at The Boxing Channel.