Fans were looking forward to the fight between Vergil Ortiz Jr and Eimantas Stanionis that was set for March to contest the WBA “regular” welterweight title. But then Stanionis required emergency appendectomy surgery, and the fight had to be postponed. Thankfully, as Mike Coppinger has reported, we didn’t have to wait too long at all for the new date. The fight will now go ahead on April 29 in Texas.
Two talented, hungry, and unbeaten welterweights, Ortiz Jr and Stanionis will, are giving us here a good, solid match-up, one that both fighters deserve to be commended for agreeing to take, and now retake. 24-year-old Ortiz Jr has, of course, impressed with good wins over Samuel Vargas, Maurice Hooker, and Egidijus Kavaliauskas (who just might have given Terence Crawford his career’s toughest fight), and he has reportedly fully recovered from the condition known as rhabdomyolysis, a kidney ailment that forced the postponement of Ortiz’ fight with Michael McKinson, who Ortiz eventually faced in August of 2022, winning the fight in five rounds.
Stanionis of Lithuania is the WBA “regular” champ at 147 pounds, and the 28-year-old is currently 14-0-1, no contest (9). Stanionis boxed the no contest with former champ Luis Collazo, while he won the “regular” strap with a split decision win over Radzhab Butaev in April of last year. The fight with Ortiz Jr marks a step up for Stanionis, just as the upcoming fight marks a step up and a risk for Ortiz.
Again, a solid fight between two pretty hot young fighters, both with a real desire to rule the world. Both guys are fast, both can hit, and both have a fine amateur background. We should see plenty of skill as well as action on April 29. You could perhaps call this fight a 50-50 affair, or pretty close to it.
Still, Ortiz will enjoy home support, and the fight will be on his promoter’s show, with Golden Boy having won the purse bid for the fight. The winner will, in theory, be in line for a fight with full WBA welterweight ruler Errol Spence, this assuming “The Truth” sticks around at 147 pounds. Who do YOU think wins on April 29?
For now, we fans are pleased this fight didn’t vanish as a result of its postponement. You know, the way some fights do.