Unbeaten puncher Vergil Ortiz targets May return

Vergil Ortiz appears to be targeting a May return to the ring.

Ortiz recently snapped a year-long hiatus from the sport when he stopped Fredrick Lawson in one round on January 7. 

“Look for him to be back in the ring in May,” manager Rick Mirigian told ProBox TV who provided the latest.

Ortiz is now fighting at junior-middleweight, following a chaotic 2023 that saw his WBA welterweight secondary title fight against Eimantas Stanionis postponed three times and canceled. First, it was Stanionis who needed surgery, then two health-related reasons prompted Ortiz to withdraw.

All in all, Ortiz had been out of the ring for 17 months. Mirigian believes that 2023 will soon be in the past as he sees Ortiz as one of the pillars of boxing’s future. 

“Healthy, strong, and motivated. I think Vergil has the potential to be the face of boxing and move through the higher weight classes like Canelo,” said Mirigian. “People forget how young he is still.”

The 25-year-old Ortiz will look to fight for a second time at 154lbs. That being said, no name jumps out as an obvious next choice. Many of the top names are with rival promoters requiring a cross-promotion deal to be made. That isn’t impossible, but it limits things. 

Fighters like Josh Kelly, Takeshi Inoue, Charles Conwell, James Metcalf, and Jesus Ramos Jr all hold high world rankings. They all also appear to not have an upcoming fight date while being ranked above Ortiz. It will be down to Golden Boy Promotions, Ortiz’s promoter, to plan his next steps.

“Twenty and 0 with 20 knockouts,” added Mirigian. “There are some big things happening for Vergil right now in the works.”