Eddie Hearn has slammed Deontay Wilder for choosing Luis Ortiz as his next opponent ahead of Anthony Joshua.
The British promoter of the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion labelled the fight “embarrassing”.
WBC heavyweight champion Wilder previously stopped Ortiz in the 10th round of an even fight in March last year.
“It’s embarrassing,” said Hearn to Sky Sports. “Joshua said: ‘the only fight is Wilder, we should meet next week and get it done’. Then Wilder says: ‘actually, I will fight Ortiz’.
“Why fight him instead of Joshua? That is really frustrating.
“The main man is Joshua but the fight that the world wants to see is Wilder. Unfortunately he is not giving the public what they want – or even talking about that fight, which is frustrating.”
Joshua is scheduled to make his US debut against Andy Ruiz Jr at New York’s Madison Square Garden this Saturday night.
“We have to focus on what we know is happening – Andy Ruiz Jr, making sure that [Joshua] gets the job done and continues to win,” said Hearn.
“Next week, if victorious, we will sit down and plan the future and book in an exciting fight for November or December.
“Joshua has got to do the business. We want to see destruction.”
If successful, Joshua will likely take on former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk next or possibly Kubrat Pulev. Usyk is expected to be installed as the mandatory contender to Joshua’s WBO title, while Pulev is the mandatory challenger for the IBF belt.
Another option is promotional stablemate Dillian Whyte, who is set to face fellow contender Oscar Rivas on July 20.
“Madison Square Garden? What’s next? Who knows,” said Joshua. “Maybe an international stadium. Maybe go to Africa in honour of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. The opportunities are crazy.
“Homegrown talent – Finchley to York Hall to The O2 to Wembley to the Garden. That’s where my grassroots talent stemmed from. I will always go back home.”
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