Posted on 01/06/2024
By: Sean Crose
The 19-0 Vergil Ortiz was back in the ring after a close to year and a half absence Saturday night in Vegas, as he battled the 30-3 Fredrick Lawson in a junior middleweight contest scheduled for twelve. The fight was the main event of a Golden Boy Card which was broadcast live on the DAZN streaming service.
The majority of the first was essentially a feeling out period for each man, though both fighters threw powerful jams. Ortiz was able to hurt his man towards the end of the round, however. With Lawson on the ropes it was clear Ortiz was throwing to end the night early – though the night ended earlier than perhaps even Ortiz expected.
For referee Tony Weeks suddenly stopped the affair. While it was clear Lawson was rattled and absorbing punishment on the ropes, the abrupt finality of the stoppage was surprising. Still, Weeks, a well respected veteran referee, claimed he saw Lawson’s eyes roll back while Ortiz was unloading his power shots.
“I wish I could have kept going,” Ortiz said in the post fight interview. “I need the rounds, but hey…”
When asked who he would like to fight next, Ortiz mentioned an opponent who would certainly make for an interesting matchup. “Tim Tzyu,” he said, “with all respect, I would love to fight you. I think you’re a hell of a fighter, so let’s make it happen.”
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya said that “Ortiz will even go to Australia to fight Tim Tszyu.”
“Let’s do it,” Ortiz added
Interestingly enough, the co-main event of Saturday’s card featured another first round stoppage, as veteran Ismael Barroso surprised quite a few people by dropping Ohara Davis twice before the bout was halted.