And his name is Luis Ortiz (27-0).
The Cuban known as ‘King Kong’ is hoping for a title shot against Anthony Joshua. And no wonder, on paper he is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBA belt. Although the WBA still need to confirm Ortiz as the mandatory challenger.
“It’s an open window. The winner is entitled to ask for a special permit if the event merits it. But Ortiz is the mandatory contender. It’s in writing that Luis Ortiz should be the next opponent for the winner. I know sometimes boxing allows things to happen in a different way – it would have to be something very important to consider [Ortiz not fighting the winner],” said Gilberto J Mendoza, president of the WBA, in an interview with Sky Sports.
Ortiz himself is certain that he should fight Joshua next. He is also confident that he will stop Joshua.
“I want my WBA belt so yeah I’m calling Joshua out. I feel more than ever that I will KO Joshua within eight rounds. I saw weakness and a fighter that can be dropped with one punch. To me, Klitschko let him off the hook. I wouldn’t have. I would have had him out of there in that sixth round. If he likes he can just give up the belt but if not then October or November sounds good to me so it’s your move boy. To be the best you have to fight the best,” told Ortiz.
The WBA confirmed before the fight against Klitshcko that Joshua can receive a special permit not to fight the mandatory challenger, which in this case is Ortiz. But in order for that to happen there needs to be a ‘serious alternative’ according to the WBA.
Joshua’s next move is unknown. He has called out Fury but its unlikely he’ll be Joshua’s next opponent. Rematch against Klitschko is still not a guarantee by any means. Other fighters in discussion are Deontay Wilder, Kubrat Pulev and of course Ortiz.