Ortiz withdraws from Saturday’s Stanionis bout


Vergil Ortiz Jr. has withdrawn from Saturday’s welterweight fight against Eimantas Stanionis in San Antonio, Golden Boy Promotions announced Thursday.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our fighters, and we of course support Vergil’s decision 100%,” Golden Boy Promotions said in a statement. “This unfortunate event does, however, open the door for one of Golden Boy’s top prospects, Floyd Schofield, to accelerate his profile by headlining in his home state of Texas.”

This is the third postponement for Ortiz-Stanionis. The fight featuring two of ESPN’s top five welterweights was set for March 18 before Stanionis, 28, underwent an emergency appendectomy in January in Lithuania. A second postponement came when Ortiz, 25, dealt with a recurrence of rhabdomyolysis, pushing the fight from its April 29 date.

Ortiz (19-0, 19 KOs) told ESPN in May he was recovered from rhabdomyolysis after he was diagnosed with long COVID, but sources told ESPN he encountered trouble making weight for this fight.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, rhabdomyolysis occurs when damaged muscle tissue releases its proteins and electrolytes into the blood. These substances can damage the heart and kidneys and cause permanent disability or even death.

Ortiz, ESPN’s No. 3 welterweight, scored a ninth-round TKO of Michael McKinson in August and hasn’t competed since. He also owns wins over Maurice Hooker and Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas.

Stanionis (14-0, 5 KOs) is ESPN’s No. 5 welterweight. Trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, Stanionis is coming off a decision win over Radzhab Butaev in April 2022, a career-best victory.

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