Vergil Ortiz (20-0, 20 KOs) of Grand Prairie, Texas made his long-awaited return in his new super welterweight division with a first round TKO of Accra, Ghana’s Fredrick “General Okunka” Lawson (30-4, 22 KOs).
Stopped at 2:33 by the referee, Ortiz made a statement as the new danger of the division with his 100-percent knockout ratio intact.
The event took place at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas and was broadcast worldwide on DAZN.
It was the first time that Ortiz entered the ring since August of 2022, when he knocked out Michael McKinson.
In the aftermath of the fight, Ortiz called for a fight with WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu of Australia.
“I’m ready for anyone. It felt like I’m back to doing what I usually do,” said Ortiz. “This is my calling; this is what I was made to do and I want to continue doing this. There’s a lot of fighters that I want to fight, but Tim Tszyu, with all due respect, I want him next. He’s a hell of a fighter and it would be an honor to take him next.”
Last year, Tszyu saw action three times – and became the full WBO champion when undisputed beltholder Jermell Charlo failed to meet his mandatory obligation.
In March, he entered the ring and battered former world champion Tony Harrison. A return in June would see a first round blowout of Carlos Ocampo. And then his third fight of the year, in October, saw punishment dished out when he pounded a decision over Brian Mendoza.
According to recent reports, Tszyu is slated to see action for the first time this year, in the month of March, and possibly in Las Vegas. Tszyu would take to social media to embrace the possibility of fighting Ortiz.