Manager: Ortiz would face Whyte in the UK

The manager of veteran heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz says the Cuban would happily face Dillian Whyte in the UK to help seal an eventual shot at WBA Super, WBO and IBF champion Anthony Joshua.

Whyte is currently waiting for a new date for his rematch with Alexander Povetkin as the Russian recovers from Covid-19. That bout has twice been postponed from November 21 and January 30 as Whyte seeks to avenge his surprise fifth round KO defeat last August.

Jay Jimenez, Ortiz’s manager, says ‘King Kong’ can fill in as the 41-year-old Cuban pursues a fight with Joshua, who is expected to meet WBC king Tyson Fury in a two-bout unification series next.

“If we could make the Dillian Whyte fight, I think that would be a great stepping stone, especially in the UK market,” Jimenez told Sky Sports.

“Dillian Whyte is no walkover, he’s no stepping stone, but if that fight were to happen and Luis could come out victorious, I think we do deserve a Joshua fight.”

Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs and 2 NCs) was close to fighting Joshua in June 2019, but was unable to agree financial terms after original foe Jarrell Miller’s removal for a failed drugs test. Andy Ruiz took that shot instead and duly stopped Joshua in seven rounds before the Brit regained his titles on points in their December 2019 return. Naturally, Jimenez feels his man would have done a similar job on Joshua.

“I think it would have [been an Ortiz win] because I don’t think Joshua was ready for a southpaw. He couldn’t get ready for a southpaw in a month’s time,” said Jimenez. “We wanted the fight. I don’t think [Joshua’s promoter] Eddie [Hearn] really would have gave us the fight anyway. It wasn’t a smart decision to step into a southpaw in a month. Not a southpaw like Luis. A bigger, stronger southpaw.

“No regrets, it happened and the right guy won that day because, maybe if it was someone else, he wouldn’t have beaten Joshua. Joshua is just so skilled, so big. No regrets, hopefully we get another shot.”

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions.