Lance Pugmire of The Athletic reports that Vergil Ortiz Jr vs Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas is a “done deal” for Aug. 14, and the fight will take place at The Star in Frisco, Texas, part of the Dallas Cowboys complex.
Ortiz (17-0, 17 KO) has emerged as a top emerging contender in the welterweight division, a talented and exciting young fighter who at 23 has repeatedly said he’s willing to go fight WBO titlist Terence “Bud” Crawford, only for Crawford to talk about Ortiz not being ready. Maybe he isn’t, but it’s a lot more interesting fight than Crawford’s had in, uh...ever. Definitely would be his most interesting welterweight bout at the very least.
Kavaliauskas (22-1-1, 18 KO) fought Crawford in 2019, doing a solid job and competing though he was clearly the second-best guy in the fight, and was stopped in nine. He came back to have a good fight with Mikael Zewski, going about 50/50 before scoring an eighth round stoppage. The “Mean Machine” is a fun fighter to watch, and on paper stacks up to make fireworks with Ortiz, however it turns out.
Aug. 14 is also shaping up to be a very busy night in boxing, but this could also go on earlier in the day, since it will be a DAZN card and DAZN are about the only people who seem mindful of not going head-to-head with other stuff when they can help it. But it couldn’t be a straight afternoon show, probably, as Matchroom have Buatsi-Bolotniks set for that date, which will air in the American afternoon and UK prime time, and in both cases DAZN would probably not want to compete with itself.