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02nd May 2017

Mandatory challenger remarkably claims that Anthony Joshua got lucky against Wladimir Klitschko

"I saw a fighter that can be dropped with one punch."

Darragh Murphy

Heavyweights are lining up for the next crack at Anthony Joshua.

Despite Joshua’s call-out of Tyson Fury immediately after stopping Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday, promoter Eddie Hearn insists that he’s not next up for ‘AJ’.

WBC kingpin Deontay Wilder and WBO champion Joseph Parker are frontrunners to be Joshua’s first fight Stateside while a rematch with Klitschko remains a very real possibility.

It would seem like it’s unification, lucrative rematch or bust for Joshua as there’s been little to no mention of the mandatory challengers he now has waiting in line.

Kubrat Pulev is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s IBF heavyweight title while Luis Ortiz finds himself next in line for the WBA (super) title.

Ortiz has spoken out about ‘AJ’ since Saturday night’s main event and the 38-year-old insisted that he was not overly impressed by the staying power of Joshua.

Cuba’s Ortiz went so far as to predict that he would finish the London 2012 gold medallist inside eight rounds should Joshua and his team opt to accept his challenge, before suggesting that Joshua got lucky last weekend.

“I feel more than ever that I will KO Joshua within 8 rounds – but I also feel that after Klitschko dropped Joshua with one punch that Eddie Hearn will never let Joshua get in the ring with me,” Ortiz told

“To me, Klitschko let him off the hook. I wouldn’t have. I would have had him out of there in that 6th round.

“Look, it’s simple. Eddie will protect his cash cow. You heard it yourself,  how Joshua didn’t mention my name knowing I’m next for him but he called out [Tyson] Fury after fight.

“I saw weakness. I saw a fighter that can be dropped with one punch.

“I even say he got lucky they stopped the fight because he wasn’t even landing a punch when it got stopped. If they wouldn’t have stopped it he was gassed out again – plain and simple.”

Hearn has revealed that we can expect to see Joshua fight again in October or November, a date that Ortiz is open to but if ‘AJ’ decides against honouring the defence of his WBA title against the mandatory challenger, then Ortiz expects him to be forced to vacate.

“I congratulate the young man for courage but I’m next and that is that,” Ortiz continued. “Look, my team let that fight happen because the WBA and Eddie Hearn asked us for a favour and because Klitschko didn’t want to fight me but I’m done being pushed back.

“It’s my time and I want my WBA belt so yeah I’m calling Joshua out. 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.”