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The rights to the Eimantas Stanionis-Vergil Ortiz Jr. WBA “regular” welterweight title fight were won by Oritz’s promoter, Golden Boy, with a commitment of $2.3 million at Monday’s purse bid at the sanctioning body’s convention in Orlando, Florida.
Stanionis, who acquired the title with a split-decision victory over Radzhab Butaev in April, is entitled to 75% of the winning bid, while Ortiz will certainly receive far more than $575,000 through Golden Boy, which will stream the fight on DAZN.
Though the 147-pound fight is now being planned, contracts will still need to be signed by both parties. If it does indeed happen as expected, it’s a coin-flip matchup between two pressure fighters in one of boxing’s best weight classes. TGB Promotions/PBC came in second with a bid of $2,100,100.
“Golden Boy stepped up and protected their star and the future to come, no question they will situate Ortiz and make him happy,” Ortiz’s manager, Rick Mirigian, told ESPN in a text message. “I believe this fight takes place in March in L.A. or Texas.”
Ortiz (19-0, 19 KOs) is rated No. 4 by ESPN at welterweight.
The 24-year-old Texan broke through last year with a pair of stoppage victories over Maurice Hooker and Egidijus Kavaliauskas. Ortiz was set to fight Michael McKinson in March, but the fight was postponed after Ortiz was hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis.
Rhabdomyolysis is a breakdown of muscle tissue that releases the damaging protein myoglobin into the blood, which can lead to kidney damage. Ortiz went on to score a ninth-round TKO of McKinson in August.
Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs) is ESPN’s No. 6 boxer at 147 pounds. The 28-year-old Lithuanian also owns a triumph over Thomas Dulorme.
The rights to Stanionis-Ortiz weren’t the only business conducted Monday in Orlando. Leo Santa Cruz relinquished his WBA featherweight title ahead of a planned purse bid for a long overdue defense versus “regular” titleholder Leigh Wood.
Wood, who knocked out Michael Conlan in the final round of their March fight, was elevated to recognized champion. The 34-year-old Englishman was set to fight Mauricio Lara in September, but the fight was postponed after Wood suffered a biceps injury.
That matchup, with the WBA title on the line, is expected to be rearranged for the first quarter of 2023.
Santa Cruz, meanwhile, is expected to revisit a planned fight versus WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas. Both Santa Cruz and Vargas are aligned with PBC.