Unbeaten Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz is in line to face IBF champion Anthony Joshua in 2017. That's according to promoter Eddie Hearn, who works with the two fighters, both of whom are considered to be among the most exciting on the planet.
Ortiz, 37, is poised to face Malik Scott in Monaco this weekend, while Joshua is set to defend his IBF belt against Eric Molina in Manchester on 10 December. Joshua is also scheduled to face former champion Wladimir Klitschko for the WBA 'super' title early next year.
But Hearn – who recently signed the highly-rated Cuban to his Matchroom Boxing stable – has revealed that provided both heavyweights come through their respective contests unscathed, Joshua and Ortiz could come head-to-head some time in 2017.
"That is one of the reasons we decided to work with him," Hearn told Sky Sports. "He's one of the top heavyweights in the world and one of the most dangerous heavyweights in the world. Joshua is going to want meet all these guys and Luis Ortiz is no exception."
Ortiz is unbeaten in 27 professional fights and Hearn has confirmed that both fighters are open to making the bout. "He is ranked No 1 by the WBA and it's likely that he will become the mandatory after Joshua-Klitschko, and he's now highly-ranked by the IBF as well," the promoter shared.
"I've spoken to AJ about it and he wants to fight all the top guys, and he considers Ortiz to be one of the very top guys in the division."
What's more, the British promoter explained that Ortiz could help Joshua achieve his long-held ambition of cracking the American market. "We are talking about potentially 10 to 12 months down the line," Hearn revealed.
"Anthony has got to fight Eric Molina first then Wladimir Klitschko and get through those two fights – and they are tough fights, especially Klitschko – then the Ortiz fight could be out there. We are trying to build Anthony Joshua in America and we are looking to build Ortiz in America, Europe and all over the world."