Hard-hitting welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz recently had his first taste of the Twitter mob. 

Recent accusations on social media that he turned down a fight against Terence Crawford, the WBO welterweight titleholder from Omaha, to face Egidijus Kavaliauskas instead had Ortiz and his promoter Golden Boy on the defensive. 

Ortiz (17-0, 17 KOs) is scheduled to fight the Lithuanian contender at The Ford Center in Frisco, Texas, Oritz’s home state, on Aug. 14. Kavaliauskas (22-1-1, 18 KOs) fought Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) in 2019, losing by eighth round stoppage in what was probably Crawford’s toughest test at 147. 

“If you’re lying, saying I said something, or if there’s something, if you’re just lying about something what I did, turning down the fight, which I never did, then I gotta say something,” Ortiz told FightHubTV. “They’re making me look bad. They’re out there trying to make me look bad for whatever reason. It’s a lie. So I gotta clear the air.”

It was a particularly sensitive issue, given that Ortiz, a native of Grand Prairie, Texas, has been open about wanting to face Crawford. After stopping Crawford’s stablemate Maurice Hooker in the seventh round last March, Ortiz called out Crawford to a fight. 

Roberto Diaz, matchmaker for Golden Boy, quickly came to Ortiz’s defense, shooting back at the critics on his Twitter account.

“Let me [be] very clear, @VergilOrtiz has never turned down anyone at anytime,” Diaz wrote. “On the contrary he wants all that smoke & then some, he is ready & when the time is right & the time comes he will fight [Terence Crawford] and beat him like he has done everyone else. Until then the focus is Mean machine [Kavaliauskas].”

Ortiz doubled down on Diaz's comments, reminding others that Crawford was not exactly enthusiastic about fighting him. 

“Should I get [past] Kavaliauskas I’ll gladly fight Crawford next or anyone else Goldenboy puts in front of me,” Ortiz responded on his Twitter account, “remember Crawford himself suggested Kavaliauskas to me first which is what I’m doing.”

Ortiz may have to wait a bit longer than desired to fight Crawford since the WBO recently ordered a fight between Crawford and Shawn Porter. Ortiz, however, remains optimistic that the coveted matchup will materialize sooner rather than later, given his standing in the rankings. 

“I’m already number one in the WBO,” Ortiz told FightHubTV. “If the Porter fight happens, I don’t wanna say wait it out necessarily. Hopefully I can be Crawford’s next fight.”