An intriguing super welterweight fight between Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Tim Tszyu, originally announced for Aug. 3, fell through the cracks on Thursday when it was revealed that the forehead gash Tszyu sustained in his March loss against Sebastian Fundora had not healed as planned. 

After learning that Ortiz needed a new opponent, Ryan Garcia volunteered to step up two weight classes to serve as a replacement against his former amateur rival. 

“I love Vergil. He’s my homie, but if I have to step in I will,” Garcia wrote on social media Thursday. “Stop playing with me. I’m up 3-0 on my boy.” 

Ortiz obliged on the offer. 

“I got a call saying you want to step in and replace Tim,” Ortiz wrote on social media on Friday, “I already gave my manager Rick Mirigian the green light to make it happen. Let’s make this happen, Ryan, don’t let me down! I’ll see you Aug 3.” 

BoxingScene contacted several officials representing Garcia and Ortiz on Friday, but calls and messages were not immediately returned. 

Ortiz and Garcia are both signed to Golden Boy Promotions. For years, Oscar De La Hoya has maintained that a fight between two of his most prized fighters was inevitable

“Me and Ryan have actually talked about this,” Ortiz told BoxingScene in 2022. “If we end up fighting each other one day, or if the opportunity is there, we’ll take the money, fight a good fight, and leave it all in there. It would be cool. That’s all I can really say about it.”

Ortiz’s anticipated matchup against Tszyu was supposed to be featured on the undercard of the fight headlined by Terence Crawford and Israil Madrimov in Los Angeles this summer. The Saudi Arabian-backed event is set to be the flagship Riyadh Season card in the United States. 

“We will be upgrading the fights,” boxing power broker Turki Alalshikh promised on Friday after Tszyu fell off the card.

Garcia (25-1, 20 KOs) is trying to clear his name after testing positive for a banned substance before his dominant decision win against Devin Haney in April. On Thursday, Garcia’s legal team claimed the supplements Garcia ingested showed results of contamination.

Garcia plans on moving to 147 pounds for his next fight and has even called for clashes against Errol Spence Jr. and Sebastian Fundora at 154 pounds in recent weeks. 

Ortiz (21-0, 21 KOs) returned with back-to-back first-round knockout wins against Thomas Dulorme in April and Fredrick Lawson in January after an injury-riddled last two years. 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at], or via