Frustrations mount for Eddie Hearn as negotiations come to a halt with Team Ortiz

Boxing at The O2

Matchroom kingpin Eddie Hearn has claimed to have offered Luis Ortiz far more than $5 million to fight Anthony Joshua on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The 39-year-old promoter is frustrated with Team Ortiz and their lack of respect after an Instagram message surfaced where the Cuban’s handlers stated they found the initial offer ‘insulting.’

Ortiz’s team have now accused Hearn of lowballing ‘King Kong’ with a proposal that came nowhere close to the figure that one would expect for a world title challenge.

Multiple sources have reported that the 40-year-old’s entourage have asked for $10 million, $3.5 million more than what would’ve been Jarrell Miller’s package had the undefeated contender not tested positive for multiple performance enhancing drugs.

Hearn is expected to make a counter-offer to Ortiz, but has told reporters, per Michael Benson of talkSPORT, that he in fact offered more than $5 million and is getting annoyed with the big Cuban’s representatives.

Benson made the following statement via Twitter: “Eddie Hearn told reporters that Luis Ortiz was offered a lot more than $5m to fight Anthony Joshua on June 1. Hearn is ‘p***** off’ with Team Ortiz for claiming he’d made lowball offers and has promised to ‘EXPOSE’ them by revealing numbers once AJ’s opponent is set.”

Ortiz occupies a strong negotiating position because Hearn and DAZN need a credible replacement for the besmirched Miller.

Like Miller, however, Ortiz has failed multiple PED tests throughout his career but has the pedigree to at least make Joshua sweat in the ring should the two parties come to an eventual agreement.

The Camaguey-born Ortiz, doesn’t speak English, but is the most reputable heavyweight available at short notice, because WBC champ Deontay Wilder and lineal king Tyson Fury are contractually tied to competing platforms for fights scheduled for May 18 and June 15, respectively.

Ortiz’s only incentive to turn down the counter offer Hearn is expected to make would be the prospect of what could be a comparably profitable rematch with Wilder.

Hearn revealed Andy Ruiz Jr, Michael Hunter, Manuel Charr and Trevor Bryan are all vying for a shot to take on Joshua for his IBF, WBO and WBA straps, but plans to announce the new opponent this week may have to be scrapped due to complex fee demands from the potential challengers.

A host of British heavyweights have offered to step in, including London-based pair Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte, but DAZN and AJ are keen to have a fighter based in America as the opponent.

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