Vergil Ortiz expected to return in August, says Golden Boy prez
Welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz, Jr., who is ranked No. 5 by The Ring, will return to the ring in August, Eric Gomez, President of Golden Boy Promotions, told The Ring Saturday night.
“We haven’t finalized an opponent yet from a very short list,” said Gomez. “We don’t have an exact date. We are waiting to hear from DAZN (which streams Golden Boy Promotion cards) for a specific date.”
Ortiz (18-0, 18 knockouts), who resides in Grand Prairie, Texas, last fought on August 14 in nearby Frisco, breaking down former world welterweight title challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas before winning by knockout in the ninth round. It would be his last fight working with trainer Robert Garcia as he decided to split with the famed trainer. Unsubstantiated rumors had Ortiz working with Eddy Reynoso, who trains Ring Magazine super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
The 24-year-old is co-trained by his father, Vergil Sr., and Manny Robles.
Ortiz was scheduled to fight Michael McKinson of England on March 19 on a Golden Boy card at the Galen Center on the campus of USC in Los Angeles, but he had to withdraw from the fight after being diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis just a few days prior. Ortiz had to be admitted to a local hospital after reportedly being ill and having difficulty losing weight.
Golden Boy was able to find a late-minute opponent in Alex Martin, who McKinson defeated by unanimous decision.
No word yet on where the fight took place, but Ortiz has drawn very good crowds to venues in Southern California and around the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, near his home.
Besides the knockout win over Kavaliauskas, Ortiz has knockout wins over former WBO 140-pound titleholder Maurice Hooker and former world junior welterweight title challenger Antonio Orozco.
Gomez is credited with discovering Ortiz, Jr., who signed a promotional deal with Golden Boy prior to his pro debut in July 2016.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing