Luis Ortiz finds his match, signing with Matchroom
By Hector Franco
October 13, 2016
It was announced last Saturday that WBA “Interim” heavyweight champion, Luis Ortiz (25-0, 22 KOs) had signed with UK promotional group Matchroom Boxing. The Managing Director of Matchroom Boxing is Eddie Hearn. It was only a few months ago that Ortiz was signed to Golden Boy Promotions. Ortiz was going to be on the undercard of the recent Canelo Alvarez-Liam Smith PPV. Instead, Ortiz bought out of his contract when money, could not be agreed on.
It was a surprise when Ortiz left Golden Boy. Golden Boy had stuck by Ortiz even after he failed a drug test in 2014. Afterward, they got Ortiz on HBO on the Golovkin-Lemieux PPV and two headlining main events. The first was against Bryant Jennings last December and then against Tony Thompson in March. Ortiz stopped both men in impressive fashion.
The thought of most boxing fans when Ortiz left Golden Boy is that he would end up like his fellow countrymen Yuriorkis Gamboa and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Luckily this isn’t the case for Ortiz. Matchroom already has two fights lined up for the Cuban heavyweight. The first will be headlining a card in Monte-Carlo against Malik Scott (38-2-1, 13 KOs) on November 12th. It will be a stacked card featuring Jason Sosa against Stephen Smith and Arthur Abraham taking on Martin Murray. When speaking with ESPN, Ortiz seemed grateful for the opportunity.
The plan is to keep Ortiz busy. Hearn may be trying to build up Ortiz as a future opponent for his biggest star, IBF heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua (17-0, 17 KOs).
It was rumored that Ortiz was looking at signing with RocNation. RocNation doesn’t have the same market as Matchroom Boxing and hasn’t nearly been as active. It could have been a huge mistake.
If all things go according to plan, Ortiz could be looking at having the best part of his career under Eddie Hearn.
(Featured Photo: Naoki Fukuda)