Joshua: WBA orders Anthony Joshua to defend title against Luis Ortiz


Anthony Joshua has been ordered to defend his WBA heavyweight title against mandatory challenger, Luis Ortiz.

The governing body released a statement telling both parties they have 30 days to come to an agreement, or the fight will go to purse bids.

Luis Ortiz
Image: Luis Ortiz is Anthony Joshua's WBA mandatory challenger

The decision came just over 12 hours after Wladimir Klitschko announced his retirement, ruling out a rematch with Joshua, who added the WBA to his IBF title with the stunning 11th-round stoppage at Wembley Stadium in April.

Pulev welcomes AJ in Wales

Pulev welcomes AJ in Wales

The IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev is happy to challenge Anthony Joshua in Cardiff

The IBF's mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev is already in line to challenge 'AJ', but the WBA's January resolution confirmed that Ortiz would face the Wembley winner.

A statement on read: "According to the resolution sent on January 11th, 2017, to both parties, it was reported that the winner of the Joshua-Klitschko fight, held on April 29th, 2017, had to face Ortiz after 120 days.

"95 days have passed and, for this reason, the Championships Committee ordered to negotiate a fight between the British and Cuban boxers.

"Both parties were duly notified that, as of August 3rd, they have 30 days to reach an agreement or the fight will be called to purse bids."

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Eddie Hearn, Anthony Joshua
Image: Eddie Hearn and Joshua have been in Las Vegas this summer

Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn have been in Las Vegas, with the proposed Klitschko rematch having previously been pencilled in for the T-Mobile Arena on November 11.

Ortiz's manager, Jay Jimenez, insists the unbeaten Cuban should fill the void.

Wladimir Klitschko thanks his fans following his retirement from boxing

"We are next," he told

"We have no problem fighting on that date of November 11th in Las Vegas. Our mandatory takes precedence over Pulev's and they know that."

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