The 147-pound bout between Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Eimantas Stanionis is slated to take place on March 18 in Texas, sources told ESPN.
Oritz’s promoter, Golden Boy, won the rights to the WBA “regular” welterweight title fight at last month’s purse bid with a commitment of $2.3 million, and will stream the fight on DAZN. Now, Oscar De La Hoya’s promotional outfit is placing the fight in Ortiz’s home state, where he’s headlined many times.
Golden Boy will also kick in additional money to make Ortiz, who is a far bigger star than Stanionis in the U.S., whole. The Lithuanian boxer won the secondary title with a split-decision victory over Radzhab Butaev in April and is entitled to 75% of the winning bid, while Ortiz will receive far more than the $575,000 he’s set to make via the purse bid.
The bout shapes up as a coin-flip matchup between two pressure fighters in one of boxing’s best weight classes.
Ortiz (19-0, 19 KOs) is rated No. 4 by ESPN at welterweight. The 24-year-old broke through last year with a pair of stoppage wins over Maurice Hooker and Egidijus Kavaliauskas. Ortiz was set to fight Michael McKinson in March, but the fight was postponed after Ortiz was hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis.
Rhabdomyolysis is a breakdown of muscle tissue that releases the damaging protein myoglobin into the blood, which can lead to kidney damage. Ortiz went on to score a ninth-round TKO of McKinson in August and will now step way up in class.
Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs) is ESPN’s No. 6 boxer at 147 pounds. The 28-year-old also owns a win over Thomas Dulorme. He’s promoted by Probellum but has competed under the PBC banner for most of his career.
Source : ESPN.com