The World Boxing Association Championships Committee ordered the teams behind Anthony Joshua, who is the current WBA heavyweight champion, and Cuban puncher Luis Ortiz, who holds the number one in the ranking at the heavyweight limit, to start negotiations for a mandatory fight between them.
According to the resolution sent on January 11th, 2017, to both parties, it was reported that the winner of the Joshua’s fight with Wladimir Klitschko, held on April 29th, 2017, had to face Ortiz after 120 days. 95 days have passed and, for this reason, the Championships Committee ordered to negotiate a fight between the British and Cuban boxers.
Both parties were duly notified that, as of August 3rd, they have 30 days to reach an agreement or the fight will be called to purse bids.
Joshua was initially being booked to have a rematch with Klitschko for a date in November, but those plans fell through when Klitschko announced his retirement from the sport earlier today.
There is another mandatory defense owed by Joshua, as part of his obligation to the IBF, to Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is already making the rounds, stating that Pulev is the likely next opponent for a late October, November date in Cardiff.
But Ortiz and his handlers are claiming that a deal is in place between the sanctioning bodies, where their mandatory under the WBA is due to take place before the mandatory owed to the IBF.
There could be a legal battle, brought in by Ortiz’s handlers, if he is skipped over in favor of Pulev.