It didn’t take any persuasion to get Egidijus Kavaliauskas on board for a fight with Vergil Ortiz Jr.
A two-way risk is in place for this weekend’s welterweight bout, which airs live on DAZN from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Kavaliauskas enters the bout with the locally based Ortiz (17-0, 17KOs) having rebounded from his lone career defeat—a December 2019 stoppage loss to WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford—with an eighth-round stoppage win over Michael Zewski last September.
However, the 2012 Olympian for Lithuania and former title challenger is less interested in protecting his record as he is seeking the toughest possible challenge.
“It’s going to be a good show. Simple as that. I love to fight. It’s what I do,” Kavaliauskas declared during Thursday’s final press conference from the Star Ballroom at Omni Frisco Hotel. “This is boxing. It’s going to be a crazy fight. A great, great fight.
“He knows my style. I know his style. It’s going to be a great fight.”
Kavaliauskas (22-1-1, 18KOs) is generally known for entertaining fights, which figures to mesh well with the 23-year-old Ortiz who has emerged as a can’t-miss attraction. The DAZN main event comes without the guarantee of a title shot in store for the winner, though it is not of concern to either boxer.
Ortiz remains confident that his time will come, choosing to further test himself along the way rather than sit on his number-one ranking with the WBO. That thought process went behind his facing former 140-pound titlist and fellow Dallas native Maurice Hooker earlier this year and again in accepting this fight.
Kavaliauskas was already on board, having not fought since last September though not for a lack of effort. The 33-year-old contender is always game to face anyone willing to step into the ring with him, normally with no questions asked. It made it that much easier to secure the fight with Ortiz, whose willingness was never questioned by the visiting challenger.
“I’m not surprised he wanted this fight. He’s a warrior,” acknowledged Kavaliauskas. “He brings fire to the ring all the time. I like that. Styles make fights. (The fans have) been asking for this fight. We give them these fights.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox