The Errol Spence Jr Sweepstakes has lost a competitor, as Mike Coppinger and Jake Donovan report that the WBA has ordered “world” welterweight champion Eimantas Stanionis to defend his title against top contender Vergil Ortiz Jr. The pair have 30 days to avoid a purse bid, which would see Stanionis the beneficiary of a 75/25 split.
With this matchup and IBF mandatory Jaron Ennis teasing a January return, this virtually guarantees that Spence will meet WBC mandatory Keith Thurman next whether he likes it or not.
As for Stanionis (14-0, 9 KO) vs Ortiz (19-0, 19 KO), there’s not a whole lot to complain about. Stanionis has parlayed his strong amateur credentials into an impressive professional career that’s seen him claim a decision over veteran Thomas Dulorme and, more recently, edge out undefeated contender Radzhab Butaev in the sort of rugged battle that Ortiz loves to force. Stanionis can box, he can punch, and he can take a shot, making him Ortiz’s stiffest test to date and a potential landmine for one of welterweight’s uber-prospects.
Plus, they’re probably going to beat the absolute hell out of each other and I am absolutely here for it. Damn sight better than a Michael McKinson fight, I can tell you that much.