Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 22-0 (21) has revealed he wants to fight Cuban southpaw Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz 30-1 (26) after he faces Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller 23-0-1 (20) at Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 1.
While fight fans are desperate to see Joshua clash with either WBC boss Deontay Wilder 40-0-1 (39) or lineal champion Tyson Fury 27-0-1 (19), both of those bouts seem as far away from happening as ever.
This year WBC and WBO number one contender Dillian Whyte 25-1 (18) knocked back the opportunity to face the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion at London’s Wembley Stadium in April when he wasn’t satisfied with the terms offered by promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing.
Whyte’s refusal to accept the deal left Joshua with little option but to push ahead with his USA debut against Miller.
Joshua, who is in the midst of a barnstorming tour of the United States to spruik the Miller fight, has been asked why he isn’t facing Wilder.
“It’s a power move, as well as a passionate move for the love of the sport,” Joshua said on the radio show The Breakfast Club.
“Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder were talking about blacklisting me, they don’t really want me to be leading the pack in terms of negotiations, which is weird to me because there’s enough for everybody to eat.
“Once I get Big Baby out of the way, I can look directly at Luis Ortiz. That’s the next guy I feel [I’ll fight], once I’ve broken the US market.”
Meanwhile the proposed Wilder-Fury rematch could be in jeopardy after the self-styled ‘Gypsy King’ signed a promotional deal with Top Rank and ESPN.
Fury and Wilder boxed a thrilling bout in December that saw the American outboxed early only to drop the Brit twice late in the fight, salvaging a split draw on the official scorecards.