Vergil Ortiz Jr Returns In New Weight Class



Vergil Ortiz Jr Returns In New Weight Class

Vergil Ortiz Jr is back and in a new weight class.

The unbeaten knockout artist will make his junior middleweight debut in the main event of a January 6 DAZN show against Fredrick Lawson at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

NY Fights was first to report the story late Tuesday evening.

Vergil Ortiz Jr Returns After Bouts With Rhabdomyolysis

The past few years of the 25-year-old's career have been plagued by illness.

Ortiz (19-0, 19 KOs) has not fought since a ninth-round knockout of unbeaten Michael McKinson August 6, 2022, in Fort Worth, Texas, near his hometown of Grand Prairie.

The bout was delayed for nearly five months from its originally scheduled date of March 19 after Vergil Ortiz Jr was hospitalized for rhabdomyolysis.

The medical condition, which occurs when damaged muscle tissue releases its proteins and electrolytes into the blood and can be life-threatening, also forced Vergil Ortiz Jr to withdraw from two fight dates this year with secondary welterweight titlist Eimantas Stanionis. Ortiz was named mandatory challenger to his belt following his win over McKinson.

They were set to meet on April 29 in Arlington and again on July 8 in San Antonio.

Following multiple hospitalizations, it was agreed upon by his team that 147 pounds was no longer a viable option and that moving up in weight was the only way for Vergil Ortiz Jr  to safely return to action.

Fending off calls for an early retirement, he appears ready to make an impact at his new weight division.

Lawson (30-3, 22 KOs) has largely competed at welterweight throughout his 12-year career.

However, the 33-year-old Chicago-based Ghanaian, has fought at the junior middleweight limit in three of his last four fights, including two straight.

He won both fights, including a first-round knockout of Collinson Korley on January 1 and a 10-round unanimous decision triumph over Estevan Villalobos on April 29, but these opponents are nowhere close to the caliber of a Vergil Ortiz Jr,