The tenuous career of unbeaten welterweight Vergil Ortiz is ready to try to re-start, again.
This as Golden Boy Boxing made official that Oritz will be back, as a junior middleweight, to start 2024.
“Undefeated knockout sensation Vergil Ortiz, Jr. (19-0, 19 KOs) of Grand Prairie, Texas will make his grand return to the ring in a new division against Accra, Ghana’s Fredrick “General Okunka” Lawson (30-3, 22 KOs). The super welterweight fight is scheduled for 12-rounds and is set to take place at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on January 6, 2024. The exclusive fight night will be broadcast worldwide on DAZN.
With a 100-percent knockout ratio, Vergil Ortiz, Jr. is ready to conquer the super welterweight division. He was last seen in August of 2022 in an entertaining fight in front of a hometown Texan crowd against Michael McKinson that added rounds to his boxing portfolio and a seventh-round KO. The 25-year-old has had an exciting career since his 2016 debut, knocking out contenders like Antonio “Relentless” Orozco, Brad “King” Solomon, and Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker.
“Headlining my first card in Las Vegas after over a year of inactivity is just what I needed,” said Vergil Ortiz Jr. “I am very motivated to put on a great show like I always do, and to show everyone that I’m still here.”
Born in Accra, Ghana, Fredrick Lawson has proven he can rise up as the underdog and is resilient to power through the toughest opponents. He was last seen in April 2023 on the DAZN undercard of Zepeda vs. Arboleda against Estevan Villalobos, who he was able to defeat via unanimous decision. Training out of Chicago, Illinois, he has secured a handful of regional titles throughout his career, including the IBF International Welterweight Title and the WBC International Silver Welterweight Title.
“I treasure this great opportunity that Golden Boy presented me with, and as much as I respect Vergil Ortiz, this Ghanaian Warrior will get his hand raised on January 6,” said Fredrick Lawson. “I look forward to fighting on DAZN again, now the premier outlet for boxing throughout the world. Thank you to Oscar De La Hoya and my manager Jacob Zwennes for making this great fight. Boxing fans will really like this fight because both Ortiz and I are action fighters.”
As we have written previously, Ortiz has battled a career threatening blood disorder for the last two years that has postponed two different main event fights. The most prominent was his proposed clash with WBA top contender Eimantas Stanionis that was called off just days before it was to have happened back in July.
A rare blood disorder
The 25 year old Ortiz suffers from Rhabdomyolysis, which is a thickening of the blood that obviously creates serious health issues for the lungs and heart. Ortiz was previously hospitalized with that same condition in March 2022 cancelling another Golden Boy main event. However, he has resumed training and now, believes that the blood disorder is in his past due to him moving up in weight.
Dan and I spoke more about his proposed return on the most recent “Big Fight Weekend” podcast and you can hear it by clicking below,
Meanwhile, De La Hoya had also mentioned to our Dan Rafael on a previous podcast, recently that he’s been in constant contact with Ortiz, who’s one of his few prized fighters remaining. And, that Ortiz was targeting a return for the first part of 2024.
Again from the Golden Boy release,
“Vergil is ready to come back stronger than ever to become a world champion in this sport,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “He’s got the heart and dedication, and is on a mission to be a world title holder. I know he will make a statement in this new division against the powerful Ghanaian warrior Fredrick Lawson. Golden Boy will be starting 2024 with a bang, and we’re proud to have Vergil launch our action-packed boxing schedule for the year.”
For his part, Stanionis took a social media shot Wednesday night at the announced Ortiz return,
Advice to Lawson – ask at least for 50% purse in andvance 🤔 https://t.co/7XuDrLpxH8
— Eimantas Stanionis (@E_Stanionis) November 1, 2023
Now, we’ll see if when his training resumes, if Ortiz has overcome his health issues and gets a new start- in a new division.