International Boxing Federation (IBF) has sent a letter to both Luis Ortiz and Filip Hrgovic on Monday, giving both heavyweight contenders three days to accept an invitation to enter talks for a final title eliminator.
It comes on the heels of Ortiz’s come-from-behind sixth-round stoppage of former IBF titlist Charles Martin in their semi-final eliminator last weekend at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
“Challenge accepted by Filip Hrgovic,” Nisse Sauerland, Hrgovic’s co-promoter exclained. “[Three] days and counting for Luis Ortiz to accept.”
The hoped-for-plans by the IBF would pit arguably the division’s two most avoided contenders. Hrgovic has endured his own struggles to land relevant opposition, even with two promoters working around the clock on his behalf.
Ortiz—who turns 43 in March—has experienced much of the same really throughout his twelve-year career. The longtime top contender remains defined by his pair of competitive knockout losses to then-WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder, primarily because most of the rest of the division tends to look away when his name is mentioned.
The win over Martin was arguably the most significant of Ortiz’s career. It is certainly the best name on his resume since a December 2015 stoppage win over then-top ten contender Bryant Jennings.
The opportunity is now in place for Ortiz to accept an invitation to sit down with the division’s other boogeyman, though one that comes with a countdown clock.
Refusal by either party to enter such talks will prompt the IBF to go down the list of its current top fifteen contenders in search of the highest ranked available—and willing—heavyweight.