Some more news from the ongoing WBO Congress, which Salvador Rodriguez, Levi Luna, and others are doing an admirable job of documenting. Golden Boy’s Eric Gomez claims that snakebit prospect Vergil Ortiz Jr will make his 154-lb debut on January 6th, with Marlen Esparza “tentatively” planned to unify against Arely Mucino in the co-feature.
Mucino fights Gabriela Fundora a week from Saturday, so I’m not entirely sure how that’s going to work out.
Ortiz (19-0, 19 KO) has fought just once in the last two years, an August 2022 stoppage of Michael McKinson. He’s been wracked with health issues for ages, including multiple cases of COVID and rhabdomyolysis, but things came to a head in July when he fainted during fight week and once again nixed a planned bout with Eimantas Stanionis.
While the new weight class should be much easier on his body, it’s questionable whether he should be fighting at all. Even if he does manage to put everything back together, questions linger as to whether his punishing style will remain effective against naturally larger men.
He’s got a whole lot to answer, is what I’m saying. We’ll see which opponent Golden Boy chooses to ask those questions; judging by their recent matchmaking, probably someone more Philomena Cunk than David Frost.