Vergil Ortiz Jr and Eimantas Stanionis look on course to actually fulfill the WBA order sent their way, with Mike Coppinger of ESPN.com reporting that the fight is now set to take place in March 18 in the Dallas area, where Ortiz is from and has fought several times.
Golden Boy Promotions, Ortiz’s promoter, won the purse bid in December, beating out TGB Promotions (representing Premier Boxing Champions) by $200,000, the winning bid being $2.3 million for the bout.
Stanionis (14-0, 9 KO) is in theory the fight’s “A-side,” since he holds a “world title,” but it’s the WBA’s “world” (“regular”) belt, which nobody much cares about, in all honesty, and Ortiz (19-0, 19 KO) not only has a bit more name value, but will also be responsible for the local draw, and it’s his promoter’s show.
In short, expect this to be advertised as “Ortiz vs Stanionis,” and not the other way around.
The bigger news than that, in two parts:
- This is just a really good fight between two guys who might really be top five welterweights right now.
- With the WBA making — I say this reluctantly, because it could stop being true any time now — actual effort to consolidate their “super world” and “world” titles, the winner of this will be in line for a mandatory order against Errol Spence Jr, or they would be the one recognized if/when Spence vacates or moves up or whatever.
The 24-year-old Ortiz’s career seemed to potentially be in trouble due to a medical issue in early 2022, but he came back from that and looked sharp in an August win over Michael McKinson.
Lithuania’s Stanionis, 28, is coming off of a strong win over Radzhab Buatev last April on the Spence vs Ugas undercard.