Earlier today, the WBA ordered ‘regular’ welterweight champion Eimantas Stanionis to defend his secondary 147-lb belt against #1 ranked contender Vergil Ortiz Jr next.
It’s unclear why the WBA isn’t ordering champion Errol Spence Jr to be the one to face the secondary champion Stanionis.
If the WBA is committed to reducing the number of titles in each weight class, ordering their two 147-lb champions, Spence and Stanionis, to fight would be the easiest way to accomplish that task for this division.
Having Stanionis fight Vergil Ortiz is a necessary step, and it might not even happen.
There’s no word whether the Golden Boy-promoted 24-year-old Ortiz Jr (19-0, 19 KOs) will accept the fight with the unbeaten Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs) because he’s still being slowly brought along by his promoters, and they might not want to throw him into the deep end just yet.
The part where it would seem unlikely for Ortiz to take this fight is that the winner will be ordered to face WBA full champion Errol Spence Jr. While Ortiz is a good fighter, he doesn’t look anywhere near ready to be thrown to the wolves just yet against a talent like Spence (28-0, 22 KOs).
Trying to beat the undefeated Stanionis will be tough enough for Ortiz. That fight would be a tremendous step up in class for Vergil from his recent opponents, Michael McKinson, Egidijus ‘Mean Machine’ Kavaliauskas, Maurice Hooker, and Samuel Vargas.
The World Boxing Association should have ordered a fight between #1 Vergil and #2 Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis to have the winner compete for a title shot against Stanionis. That way, you would be getting the best contender to be challenging for a world title instead of Ortiz being given a crack at a belt after his wins over Vargas, Hooker, McKinson, and ‘Mean Machine.’
“The WBA on Friday ordered a fight between its secondary welterweight titleholder, Eimantas Stanionis, and Vergil Ortiz, sources tell ESPN. If no deal is struck in 30 days, a purse bid will be ordered,” said Mike Coppinger.
Stanionis is coming off 12 round split decision win over Radzhab Butaev last April on the undercard of Spence vs. Yordenis Ugas at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.