Yet another delay has been met with the Eimantas Stanionis-Vergil Ortiz welterweight clash.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the WBA ‘Regular’ welterweight title fight will no longer move forward. The battle of unbeaten contenders was due to headline a DAZN show this Saturday from AT&T Center in San Antonio, but is once again postponed after Ortiz fainted and was hospitalized for undisclosed reasons as this goes to publication.
The rest of the show will move forward, Golden Boy representatives confirmed to Boxing Scene. Unbeaten lightweight prospect Floyd Schofield Jr. (14-0, 11KOs)—who hails from nearby Austin—will now headline the show versus Haskell Lydell Rhodes (28-4-1, 13KOs).
"Nothing is more important than the safety of our fighters, and we of course support Vergil's decision 100 percent," Golden Boy told Boxing Scene in a provided statement. "This unfortunate event does however open the door for one of Golden Boy's top prospects, Floyd Schofield, to accelerate his profile by headlining in his home state of Texas. We will, as always, put on a high-action card from top to bottom on July 8 and look forward to showcasing all of our fighters both in San Antonio and on DAZN."
The latest setback marks at least the third postponement for Stanionis-Ortiz and second confirmed fight date. The secondary WBA welterweight title fight was briefly paused after Lithuania’s Stanionis (14-0, 9KOs) was forced to undergo an emergency appendectomy in January, which pushed their ordered fight to April 29 in Arlington, Texas, near Ortiz’s hometown in Grand Prairie.
Ortiz (19-0, 19KOs) was then forced to postpone that date after a repeat episode of rhabdomyolysis in late March. The condition caused his second fight date postponement in just more than a year. HE was also forced to push back his clash versus England’s Michael McKinson by more than four months to August 6 in Fort Worth, Texas after he was hospitalized just ahead of fight week for their planned bout last March 19 in Los Angeles.
It remains unclear if the same condition caused Ortiz’s recent trip to the hospital. It is not yet known if Stanionis—who has not fought since his title win over Radzhab Butaev last April 16 in Arlington—will remain on the show.
Schofield will now top his second DAZN telecast and first on Golden Boy’s primary series. His first-round knockout of Daniel Rosas last October headlined a Golden Boy Fight Night on DAZN show, the company’s prospect-based series. The event marked his second fight with Golden Boy, having fought on the undercard of Ortiz’s aforementioned win over McKinson last August 6 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.
Saturday will be the third fight of 2023 for Schofield, who scored a second-round knockout of Jesus Valentin Leon on the non-televised undercard of the Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia show April 22 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Also bumped up one spot on the main card, 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist and current lineal/WBC/WBA flyweight champion Marlen Esparza (13-1, 1KO) meets Argentina’s Gabriela Alaniz (14-0, 6KOs), who puts her WBO title at stake in their multi-belt unification bout.
Joseph Diaz Jr. (32-4-1, 15KOs), a 2012 U.S. Olympian and former IBF junior lightweight titlist, will also see an upgrade from his place on the undercard. The South El Monte, California native aims to end a three-fight losing streak as he faces Jerry Perez (14-2-1, 11KOs) in a scheduled ten-round lightweight bout.
Recent Golden Boy signee Eric Tudor (8-0, 6KOs) will advance from the preliminary undercard to the main show. The unbeaten 21-year-old from Fort Lauderdale, Florida—who signed with Golden Boy in May—meets Michigan’s Reggie Harris Jr. (7-3, 3KOs) in a scheduled eight-round junior middleweight contest.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox