Vergil Ortiz Jr. (20-0, 20 KOs) surprisingly doesn’t have a problem with his premature first round TKO victory over Fredrick Lawson (30-4, 22 KOs) on Saturday night in Las Vegas, despite the entire world viewing it as a fight that should not have been halted by the referee Tony Weeks.
Boxing fans on social media are saying all kinds of negative things, saying the fight was scripted from the get-go, that Lawson was robbed, and the referee was utterly clueless.
For Ortiz Jr. not to admit that the fight was stopped early is troubling because Lawson was blocking his punches in the final seconds before Weeks stepped in and waved it off. Of the shots that Ortiz Jr. threw, only one got through, and that was a right hand that didn’t do any damage to Lawson.
Ortiz Jr. was coming off a long 16-month layoff, and he wanted a good showing to impress his fans, but he never got the chance due to Weeks stopping the fight.
It would have helped if Golden Boy Promotions had picked out a better opponent than the 34-year-old Lawson, as this guy had been knocked out three times in his career by opposition that Vergil Jr. would have totally destroyed. He should have been given a better-quality opponent.
“I don’t think it was a bad stoppage,” said Vergil Ortiz Jr. to the media reacting to fans and the media saying the referee Tony Weeks stopped his fight prematurely in the first round against Fredrick Lawson on Saturday night.
“As a fan, you’re going to think so because you want to see the knockout and see the ugly stuff. As a fighter who knew it was going to come in the next few punches and I was going to find a way, he [Tony Weeks] saved him from a bad knockout.
“He wasn’t responding, and if he’s not fighting back, it’s not a fight anymore. It’s a beatdown. Hell, yeah, I had one of the best camps. I’m ready for anybody,” said Vergil Jr. when asked if he’s ready to fight WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu after just one round tonight after 16 months of inactivity.
“Whatever Team Vergil wants, we’ll make happen,” said promoter Oscar De La Hoya when asked if Ortiz Jr. is ready to fight Tszyu in Australia. “We’re behind him 1000%. Vergil is a fighter. He’s one of those old school thinking fighters.
“To be a world champion, you travel the world. I think Vergil is the best fighter on the planet at 154 or at any weight class, and everybody is going to be searching for Vergil. Guess what? He’s right here. 20-0 and 20 knockouts. Who else has that record today in boxing?
“I think he’s the only fighter that is undefeated with 20 fights and 20 knockouts. That’s incredible,” said De La Hoya.