The World Boxing Association (WBA) have ordered Nigerian-born British world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua to defend his title against Cuba’s Luis Ortiz.
Joshua, 27, had been due to face Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch in November this year in Las Vegas before the Ukrainian retired on Thursday.
According to BBC Sport, WBA say Joshua and Ortiz , 38, have 30 days from 3 August to agree the fight.
Also, the WBA instructed Joshua he must face IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev before 2 December or risk being stripped of his belt.
There had been plans for Joshua to fight Klitschko in Las Vegas on 11 November and Ortiz’s manager, Jay Jimenez, has said his fighter could fill the void.
Commenting on the directive by the WBA, Jimenez said: “We are next. We have no problem fighting on that date of November 11th in Las Vegas. Our mandatory takes precedent over Pulev’s and they know that.”
Joshua has won all his 19 professional fights with all via knockouts.
Ortiz who also is yet to taste defeat after 29 fights, has 23 knockouts from 27 wins, while Pulev, 36, has one defeat in his 26 fights, with 13 stoppages.