Eimantas Stanionis had to undergo an emergency appendectomy, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Coppinger, and as such, his scheduled March 18 bout with Vergil Ortiz Jr will be postponed, but it’s not off the table.
Richard Schaefer, who is Stanionis’ promoter, told Coppinger that Stanionis (14-0, 9 KO) had been training, felt some pain, and then had “immediate surgery.” Schaefer says that they have been in communication with Golden Boy, who won the purse bid for the fight in December.
The fight was ordered by the WBA, whose secondary welterweight title is held by Stanionis. The winner is, in theory, in line for an ordered crack at “super world” WBA titleholder Errol Spence Jr, who will also have another likely mandatory from the IBF in tonight’s Ennis vs Chukhadzhian winner, and has an order in place from the WBC to fight Keith Thurman.
Ortiz (19-0, 19 KO) and Stanionis match up very well on paper, and it’s a fight that boxing fans are going to want to see. The good news is that, again, it doesn’t appear this is any attempt to get out of the fight or whatever — Stanionis would likely be stripped of his belt, for one thing, and the belt more than anything else is what makes and can keep him a player in the 147 lb division.