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Vergil Ortiz Jr vs Michael McKinson in the works for “early 2022”

The pair are ranked #1 and #3, respectively, by the WBO

Vergil Ortiz Jr v Egidijus Kavaliauskas Photo by Kevin Estrada/Getty Images

Last month, the WBC ordered #1 welterweight Vergil Ortiz Jr. to face #3 David Avanesyan in a final eliminator, only for Ortiz manager Rick Mirigian to turn the fight down. Now, Mike Coppinger reports that Ortiz and unbeaten Michael McKinson have “agreed to a deal” to meet early next year in a DAZN main event.

No word as to whether it’s an eliminator, but seeing as Ortiz (18-0, 18 KO) and McKinson (21-0, 2 KO) are currently ranked first and third by the WBO, it’s a safe bet.

The 27-year-old McKinson went 2-0 this year, edging out Chris Kongo on March’s Povetkin-Whyte 2 undercard and subsequently cruising past former Josh Kelly victim Przemyslaw Runowski five months later. He’s definitely not as likely to produce a war as the other contenders in his vicinity, namely WBO #2 Jaron Ennis, but he’s trickier than most of Ortiz’s previous opponents and could potentially give him some interesting looks.

I’m trying to be optimistic, okay? Let’s hope we at least get Boots vs. Avanesyan out of this.

If it is, in fact, an eliminator, the winner will be in line to face Terence Crawford by the end of next year. Let’s see how this all plays out.