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01st May 2019

Eddie Hearn reveals the truth behind Luis Ortiz’s offer for Anthony Joshua fight

Hearn gives the real figures after being accused of lowballing the Cuban heavyweight

Darragh Murphy

Eddie Hearn has rubbished claims that he lowballed Luis Ortiz

Ortiz’s camp accused Hearn of disrespecting the Cuban heavyweight with his offer for Ortiz to step in for Jarrell Miller for next month’s title fight with Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden.

Miller was denied a licence to fight Joshua on June 1 after failing multiple drug tests and Hearn quickly compiled a six-man shortlist of potential replacements, with Ortiz at the very top.

It soon became clear that Joshua vs. Ortiz would not be taking place but Hearn has rejected any suggestion that he came up with “low ball offers” in an attempt to take advantage of Ortiz’s desperation.

Hearn told iFL TV: “I got two phone calls when the [Miller] news broke straight away. One was Don King and one was Jay Jimenez who is Luis Ortiz’s manager. Jay Jimenez phoned me up and said, ‘I can’t believe this, I don’t think Luis will be ready.’

“I think I spoke to ‘AJ’ an hour or so before and he said to get him anyone.

“I said, ‘Find out if Luis will be ready.’ He came back the next day or two days later and said, ‘Make us an offer.’ I made them an offer $6 million – that was my first offer…

“He didn’t come back to that offer. I like Jay Jimenez so I don’t want to out him too badly because I don’t think it’s his fault but I just want to get the facts right…

“No reply, this was on Friday. Monday I said, ‘I’ll call you.’ Later on that day I came back and said, ‘Right, this is it, $7 million for June 1. [If he wins, he gets] a rematch for quite a bit more and if he loses, I’ll give you another fight for a lot of money for security.’ Nothing back.”

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that Joshua will fight Andy Ruiz Jr. next month and while the Mexican-American represents a different challenge to Miller, most fans are of the opinion that Ortiz would have been the most intriguing test for ‘AJ’.

Hearn was left furious following the Ortiz fiasco and it doesn’t sound like he will be engaging in negotiations with ‘King Kong’ again any time soon.

“Not only were you offered $7 million, but you tried to out us in the public eye, in the media,” Hearn continued.

“To try and fuck our reputation and discredit us when you got offered $6 million and then $7 million for a fight.

“And how much did you get when you fought Deontay Wilder? I don’t know, $1 million? If that?

“So you got offered seven times more to fight Anthony Joshua.”