Vergil Ortiz Jr will likely return to the ring in July, according to promoter Oscar De La Hoya, which was really the biggest story from today’s William Zepeda vs Jaime Arboleda press conference.
Ortiz was originally supposed to headline Saturday’s Golden Boy show on DAZN against secondary WBA welterweight champion Eimantas Stanionis, but had to withdraw after a recurrence of rhabdomyolysis.
A previous issue with the same illness postponed Ortiz’s 2022 fight with Michael McKinson from March to the first week of August.
No specific date, venue, or opponent were announced. But, the timing of a July fight is consistent with the timeline of Ortiz’s recovery and return to the ring last year.
As for this Saturday’s show, here’s what William Zepeda (27-0, 23 KO), Jaime Arboleda (19-2, 14 KO), and various undercard fighters had to say about their upcoming matchups.
Oscar De La Hoya
“I am proud to be here. Dallas has been a great fight town. It’s very unfortunate that Vergil Ortiz got sick on us, but we wish him a speedy recovery. He’s on the verge of getting a lot better, and we will have him back sometime in July. We’re really looking forward to that. But, in the meantime, we have a very special card for you on Saturday night.”
“I’m glad and honored to be headlining for the second time here in Texas. And I’m happy that I have a strong opponent on Saturday night.”
“To all the boxing fans – Mexican fans, world fans: Expect a great night of boxing. And it’s going to be very emotional.”
“We’ve done everything we’ve needed to in camp to come out victorious. We know we have a tough opponent come Saturday night, but we’ve everything to get us in line to win.”
“It’s a chance of a lifetime, obviously. I’m well prepared. I’ve done everything that I could do to be prepared and put my name up there to be a titleist.”
“I know what he’s about. He’s the champion. I know he’s going to come well prepared. But, I also know that I’m well prepared come Saturday.”
Diego De La Hoya
“I know I have a tough opponent ahead of me. We may not be the main event, but this fight will steal the night on Saturday.”
“I’ve had a great camp, and we’ll see on Saturday who makes the biggest spark.”
“I’m super excited for this fight. This is going to be a title fight. This is the way to go for us to fight for a world title. Someone is leaving with that title this Saturday, and that’s going to be Victor Morales Jr. [...] This is going to be a good fight, and I hope he’s ready. Because we are very ready for this fight.”
“We had a very great camp for this fight, as we do all fights. We’re going in there to make a statement. And the statement will be made Saturday night.”
On dealing with a change of opponents and shifting to the A-side of his fight:
“You’ve been in training camp getting ready for one opponent, and the next moment your opponent has changed a couple of times. It’s so crazy. But, I’m okay. I’m ready.”
On whether he has a message for fans in his home nation of Ghana:
“The big message for my fans in Ghana is: Keep your hopes very high. We’re still out there doing the good work to bring a title down there one day in the future.”
On how it feels to be debuting on DAZN:
“It feels really good. I’m ready to make my Golden Boy and DAZN debut. I’ve been training hard in Houston, Texas, under the tutelage of Ronnie Shields, and we’re ready to go to work Saturday night.”
On whether there’s any pressure for him in this fight:
“A little bit, but not really. I’m one of those guys, I feel like I was made for this. So once it’s time to step, I’m ready to step.”