Joshua could face Ortiz in 2017 - Hearn


A fight between IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and Luis Ortiz could take place in 2017, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

With Tyson Fury having vacated the WBA and WBO titles, Joshua is widely expected to fight Wladimir Klitschko - who twice saw rematches with Fury postponed - in a unification bout for the WBA and IBF belts.

But, looking ahead to next year, Hearn - who has signed Ortiz to his Matchroom Boxing Stable - sees a potential bout between Joshua and the unbeaten Cuban in the offing.

"Luis Ortiz against Joshua could be a huge fight for 2017 and we have no problem in making that fight if it is the right move," Hearn told Sky Sports.

"People get the impression that AJ is mollycoddled, but they couldn't be more wrong. Look at the [Charles] Martin fight, everyone looks back and says it was an easy fight, but at the time they were saying it was a hard fight that was coming too early.

"If the reward is there to take the risk against Ortiz, who is very dangerous, and the fight is big enough, then yes, let's do it.

"We want to build the profile of Ortiz so he can't be ignored and get him in a high value position so he can get these big fights against the best heavyweights out there."

Ortiz, the interim WBA champion, is to fight Malik Scott in Monte Carlo next month for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental strap, and could feature on the undercard of Joshua's prospective bout with Klitschko.

Hearn added: "The plan is for Ortiz to fight on November 12 in Monaco against Malik Scott, then on the undercard of AJ later in the year and then get him out in the United States in February or March of next year."