ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – Jaron Ennis mentioned Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Eimantas Stanionis as potential opponents during his press conference early Thursday afternoon at The Showboat.
Ennis didn’t learn until he finished promoting his own welterweight title fight against Roiman Villa that Stanionis-Ortiz was at the very least postponed again Thursday morning due to another health issue for Ortiz. The 25-year-old knockout artist reportedly was hospitalized after fainting and thus forced to withdraw from a 12-round fight for Stanionis’ WBA world welterweight title that was scheduled for Saturday night at AT&T Center in San Antonio (https://www.boxingscene.com/eimantas-stanionis-vergil-ortiz-postponed-again-floyd-schofield-jr-moves-dazn-main-event--175927).
Philadelphia’s Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs, 1 NC) has wanted to fight Ortiz (19-0, 19 KOs) for quite some time, but he expressed concern for his contemporary after Ortiz was forced to at least postpone a fight for a third time since March 2022.
“I hope he get better,” Ennis told BoxingScene.com. “I wish him luck. His main focus right now should just be getting himself together, you know, getting healthy. I feel like it’s serious. I can’t say what I would do because I’m not in that situation. But if I was him, my main focus would be getting healthy and not worry about fighting right now, at this moment, and just get to a hundred percent. I feel like maybe he was rushing his recovery. At the end of the day, like I said before, his health is more important than anything.”
Lithuania’s Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs, 1 NC) was supposed to square off against Ortiz on April 29 at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas. Ortiz had to postpone his title shot late in March due to a flare-up of rhabdomyolysis – a complex, rare muscle condition with which he was diagnosed early in 2022.
It was not clear Thursday if Ortiz’s health scare this week was related to rhabdomyolysis, but Ennis knows how difficult Ortiz’s ordeal must be on the Grand Prairie, Texas native.
“I know he wanna fight,” Ennis said. “He gotta feed his family, so you definitely gotta feel for him.”
Ennis also feels for Stanionis, whose appendectomy caused the first postponement of his fight with Ortiz early in January.
“He went through a whole camp,” Ennis said. “It was the biggest fight of his career. I feel like they need to find him something in two weeks, something like that, and that way he won’t waste a camp.”
Now that Stanionis-Ortiz has been scrapped yet again, fight fans will fully focus on Ennis’ fight versus Villa. The 26-year-old Ennis will make the first defense of his IBF interim welterweight title against Villa (26-1, 24 KOs) in the 12-round main event of a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Theater.
Cuban southpaw Yoelvis Gomez (6-0, 5 KOs) will square off against Marquis Taylor (14-1-2, 1 KO), of Galena Park, Texas, in Showtime’s co-feature, a 10-round middleweight match. The premium cable network’s telecast is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. EDT, when Dominican southpaw Edwin De Los Santos (15-1, 14 KOs) will box Joseph Adorno (17-2-2, 14 KOs), of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in a 10-round lightweight fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.