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‘I thought my career was over’: Vergil Ortiz talks about his return to boxing at 154 lbs

Vergil Ortiz had been dealing with health issues which prevented him from fighting, but says he’s now got that all sorted out.

Vergil Ortiz looks to get his career back on track starting with his fight this weekend.
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

As Vergil Ortiz readies for his ring return at the junior middleweight division, he takes some time to chat with Marcos Villegas of Fight Hub TV to talk about how he’s feeling now following his health issues, fighting at a new weight, and where he’ll be looking to go from here. Check out some of what he had to say below.

Vergil Ortiz on how he’s feeling as he prepares to campaign at 154

“I feel great. This is the most energy I’ve had in fight week, any fight week...I’m excited. This is almost new to me again. It’s like the first time. I’m just ready, ready to fight, ready to step on the scale, ready to go. This is badass, I’m excited to be here.”

On how he reflects on the past couple of years with his health issues

“Shitty. Yeah, it was really bad, mentally, physically for sure. That was the main problem. But we got everything taken care of and ready to go.”

On if he ever thought he would have to stop fighting

“Right before I passed out the last fight, I broke down crying because I thought my career was over. It was a real tough time, let’s just say that.”

On how he got through that tough time

“I tried to distract myself, went to some concerts, I tried to hang out with my friends, go out to eat — that’s really all I could do.

“I’m not over it. Until I fight again...until I step in that ring and win in dominating fashion, then I’ll get over it.”

On making the 154 limit as opposed to 147

“I feel fuckin’ great. I feel good. I’m comfortable right here man, and I have a lot of energy. I’m just ready to go.”

On wanting to make a statement in this return fight

“Of course. People definitely overlook me now. And, you know what, I bet a lot of fighters do too, and I hope they do, and I hope they come and find out that’s not the case.”

On being annoyed by people believing he’s washed up as a professional fighter now

“I’m a prideful person, I’m not going to lie. I have a lot of pride in what I do, in my work ethic, and what I’ve done. And so for someone who sits behind a computer to tell me, and everyone else tell me I’m done — like, you don’t know what you’re talking about bro. And that’s just me saying that censored because I have a lot more to say in a bad way, but that’s it.”

On the big fight he’s looking for at 154

“See that’s the thing, I want to fight everyone. But at the same time I’m not going to wait for nobody no more because a lot of the problems came from me waiting for the big fights for me to put on a show the fans that never got to happen because it kind of seemed like only one person wanted to fight.

“I was ready to fight Stanionis right after the McKinson fight — the fight didn’t happen, it wasn’t my fault.”

On what he thinks about potentially fighting Tim Tszyu

“That’s an exciting fight right there. You know, all respect, I would love to fight him.”

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