Oscar De La Hoya envisions Vergil Ortiz Jr. resuming his knockout streak Saturday night.

Ortiz’s promoter has high hopes for Ortiz’s return from a 17-month layoff and the remainder of 2024 for the newest entrant into the junior middleweight mix. The 25-year-old Ortiz wants to be very active this year, so that he can start making up for lost time.

Once De La Hoya sees what he expects from the undefeated knockout artist against Ghana’s Fredrick Lawson (30-3, 22 KOs) on Saturday night, the retired six-division champion will match Ortiz (19-0, 19 KOs) with anyone in the 154-pound division. De La Hoya would welcome title fights against former fully unified champ Jermell Charlo or WBO champ Tim Tszyu, though the Golden Boy Promotions founder understands that there would be promotional and platform obstacles to overcome in each of those two scenarios.

“It all depends on the landscape,” De La Hoya told a group of reporters after a press conference Thursday for the Ortiz-Lawson card in Las Vegas. “It all depends, look, Vergil will fight anybody. It just all depends on the landscape, how what champion is where and the ranking system. We’ll have to just go back to the drawing board and figure it out, but Vergil is ready for anybody.

“He will fight anybody. He will challenge the very best. And what’s why we love promoting him. That’s why we love being on his team. He is a fighter who is willing to just put it all out there and challenge the toughest [fighters] out there, so whether it’s Jermell … whoever it is, we’re willing and able to fight the very best.”

Houston’s Charlo is expected to move back down from the super middleweight limit of 168 pounds to the 154-pound division for his next fight. Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KOs) moved up two weight classes to challenge Canelo Alvarez, but Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) dominated him in their 12-round fight for the Mexican icon’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO super middleweight titles September 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Australia’s Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) doesn’t have a fight scheduled, either. Like Charlo, however, Tszyu is aligned with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, which would complicate negotiations with De La Hoya’s company for a fight with Ortiz.

Rescheduling Charlo-Tszyu would be a more appealing alternative for PBC as well.

At the moment, De La Hoya is focused on Ortiz’s first fight since he defeated England’s Michael McKinson (26-1, 4 KOs) by ninth-round technical knockout in August 2022 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

A healthy Ortiz has gotten through an entire training camp and weighed in for a fight for the first time since he stopped McKinson.

Rhabdomyolysis, a damaging muscle condition, forced Ortiz to postpone the McKinson match in March 2022 and his ill-fated fight with WBA world welterweight champ Eimantas Stanionis in March 2023. Ortiz-Stanionis was postponed a third time, the second by time by Ortiz, and eventually canceled altogether when severe dehydration and heat exhaustion sent Ortiz to the hospital two days before he was supposed to fight Stanionis on July 8 at AT&T Center in San Antonio.

Ortiz informed BoxingScene.com that three specialists have told him he is longer afflicted with rhabdomyolysis. Moving up seven pounds has also made him and De La Hoya optimistic about 2024 after an entirely wasted year in 2023.

“You know what? Just listening to him now, he sounds hungry,” De La Hoya said. “I just [asked] him if he misses these press conferences and he misses being in the ring, and he’s like, ‘Man, I cannot wait.’ So, I believe him. I believe he’s ready, I believe that he’s gonna start right where he ended up, and that was knocking out people. You know, one thing about Vergil is that when he has you hurt, he finishes you. And that’s the mark of a true champion.”

DAZN’s Ortiz-Lawson undercard coverage is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET) on Saturday from Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. London’s Ohara Davies (25-2, 18 KOs) and Venezuela’s Ismael Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KOs) will square off in the 12-round co-feature for the vacant WBA interim super lightweight title.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.