Luis Ortiz injury forces change in heavyweight contender picture

On New Year’s Day, Luis Ortiz made the ultimate comeback when he knocked out Charles Martin in the sixth round. It was a must-win for Ortiz (33-2, 28 KOs), who reinserted himself into the heavyweight title image.

After his victory, the IBF gave Ortiz a deadline to fight Filip Hrgovic in an IBF title eliminator. The winner of the fight would have likely faced champion Oleksandr Usyk. However, given the opportunity, he appears to have turned down a path to glory as it was revealed that he injured his left hand during Martin’s fight.

“Basically, Luis had a minimal fracture that he should be able to heal without problems, but with something like that he does not want to take any risks,” said Jay Jiménez, Ortiz’s manager, to George Ebro (through the boxing scene).

“He is being evaluated, but he cannot fight as of April, because he would not be in (the best physical condition). We are not against fighting against Hrgovic, or against anyone, but let it happen with the best conditions for Luis. ”

Ortiz made his professional debut in 2010. He is a former WBA interim heavyweight champion and nearly defeated Deontay Wilder in 2018 and 2019 for the WBC heavyweight title. However, Wilder reacted and knocked him out both times. During the Martin fight, Ortiz was down on the scorecards and looked like he was beaten. He ended up landing wild punches in the sixth that stopped Martin. Ortiz has now won two in a row.

A bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympics, Hrgovic is the IBF International Heavyweight Champion. His last fight was in December, when he beat Emir Ahmatovic by technical knockout. Promoter Kalle Sauerland quickly passed on Ortiz-Hrgovic, stating that a Hrgovic vs. Joseph Parker fight makes more sense.

Parker, a former WBO heavyweight champion, has won six fights in a row. His last fight was a unanimous decision victory over Derek Chisora ​​in December.

As for who Ortiz would face next, Andy Ruiz Jr. is on his mind. Ruiz, a former WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion, last fought in May, defeating Chris Arreola. Now working with Eddy Reynoso, Ruiz has been linked to Ortiz for a while.

“I would like Andy Ruiz to accept my challenge, but if not, I will be ready for whoever comes, because nobody wants to fight a man they call ‘old,'” Ortiz said, via Boxing Scene.