Hours after promoter Eddie Hearn was lobbying for Luis Ortiz to replace Lucas Browne in the fight against Shannon Briggs for the vacant WBA "regular" heavyweight title fight next month, Ortiz's next fight was made official.
Instead of challenging for a world title, Ortiz will face 24-year-old David “White Rhino” Allen in a scheduled eight-round fight on December 10 on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua vs. Eric Molina card at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Browne was set to face off against Shannon Briggs for the vacant title at an unannounced date and venue before he failed a drug test for the second time this year. Prior to the announcement of the Ortiz fight, Hearn suggested on IFL TV that Ortiz, the #1 rated boxer in the WBA heavyweight rankings, should face Briggs instead of Browne.
"We’re now saying Luis Ortiz should fight Shannon Briggs for the [WBA] regular title," Hearn said.
It is easily the biggest fight in Allen's short career, having only fought in Britain his entire professional career. Allen sports a 9-1-1 record, but lost his latest fight against Dillian Whyte back in July for the vacant WBC International heavyweight title.
Despite the loss against Whyte, Allen said on social media he is confident ahead of his fight against the undefeated Ortiz.
Ortiz is undefeated as a professional and is a former WBA interim heavyweight champion. His last fight was earlier this month against Malik Scott when Ortiz won via unanimous decision.
Credit to boxingnews24.com for the transcription of the Hearn quote.