Vergil Ortiz, the highly regarded unbeaten welterweight prospect, reportedly fainted Wednesday and was forced Thursday to pull out of his fight against champion Eimantas Stanionis on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas, for the WBA title.
Golden Boy Promotions announced Ortiz’s withdrawal in a statement and noted that Floyd Schofield would face Haskell Rhodes in the main event Saturday on DAZN.
In a statement attributed only to Golden Boy Promotions, the company confirmed Ortiz’ withdrawal.
Nothing is more important than the safety of our fighters, and we of course support Vergil’s decision 100 percent. This unfortunate event does however open the door for one of Golden Boy’s top prospects, Floyd Schofield, to accelerate his profile by headlining in his home state of Texas. We will, as always, put on a high-action card from top to bottom on July 8 and look forward to showcasing all of our fighters both in San Antonio and on DAZN.
Stanionis manager Shelly Finkel told Yahoo Sports on Thursday that Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told him that Ortiz had fainted and was taken to a local hospital. He was forced to pull out of the fight due to his health, the third time in fifteen months that’s happened between the two.
Ortiz, who has battled COVID-19 and rhabdomyolysis in the last three years, has had to delay numerous other fights since 2020 because of his health.
Yahoo Sports could not reach Gomez for comment. But Finkel said a media appearance at The Alamo on Wednesday was canceled. Finkel said he was supposed to meet with Gomez after the event at The Alamo but said Gomez asked to reschedule it.
“He called me and said, ‘[Ortiz] fainted last night and was taken to the hospital and we’re waiting on the doctors to know if there’s a fight,'” Finkel said.
Finkel said Stanionis was Errol Spence Jr.’s mandatory for the WBA title, but he agreed to step aside so Spence could fight Crawford for the undisputed championship on July 29 in Las Vegas. Stanionis then agreed to face Ortiz for a third time.
When Ortiz pulled out again, Stanionis and Finkel were both naturally frustrated.
“It’s horrible for the kid [Ortiz],” Finkel said. “I feel so badly for Eimantas. But what can you do? We’ll plan to try to get whatever we can but it’s terrible. … I don’t know if there’s another option to take and then fight that [bout against the Crawford-Spence winner]. I am preserving all of Eimantas’ rights. I’m going to have our lawyer, whom I already spoke to, send a letter to the BA pointing out that this is not our fault. They agreed and felt bad for Eimantas. He’s won a title and hasn’t been able to defend it.”
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