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Vergil Ortiz Jr. withdraws from March 19th fight against Michael McKinson

Image: Vergil Ortiz Jr. withdraws from March 19th fight against Michael McKinson

By Jim Calfa: Vergil Ortiz Jr. has pulled out of his scheduled headliner fight against Michael McKinson for this Saturday night, March 19th, on DAZN for unstated reasons. There’s a possibility the card could be canceled.

If the card doesn’t get canceled, the co-feature match between unbeaten welterweight prospect Blair Cobbs vs. Alexis Rocha would be moved into the main event to take the spot vacated by Ortiz-McKinson. Cobbs is a good talker, but not a great talent, unfortunately.

Late Update from Golden Boy:

Ortiz was “diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis. Vergil is recovering well in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

“We wish Vergil a very quick and speedy recovery,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “As fighters, our first instinct is to fight whatever we have and tough it out.

“It takes a lot of courage to admit that something is wrong and get the care that you need. We are confident that we will be seeing Vergil in the ring again very soon.”

He’s been mouthing off a lot this week, and it would be fun to see him in the main event against a quality welterweight like Jaron Ennis.

There’s also an outside chance that a replacement opponent could be located to face McKinson. However, it would have to be a notable fighter for that fight to be in the main event slot.

It’s bad enough that McKinson isn’t a household name with fans in the U.S, but it would be pure poison for the main event if another obscure fighter fans have never heard of were to replace Vergil Jr in the headliner.

ESPN is confirming that the undefeated #1 WBO welterweight contender Ortiz Jr. (18-0, 18 KOs) has pulled out of his fight with #4 McKinson (21-0, 2 KOs) for their 12 round fight that had been scheduled to take place at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, California.

It’s a weird situation for Ortiz to be pulled from the card with no explanation, which has caused speculation from boxing fans that he might have COVID-19 or possibly weight issues.

Image: Vergil Ortiz Jr. withdraws from March 19th fight against Michael McKinson

As painfully thin as Ortiz looked this week, it’s not likely weight-related. He said he felt good, and his weight was on point over the weekend.

Ortiz’s pull-out could be any number of things. One thing is for sure; there wasn’t much of any buzz whatsoever about the Ortiz vs. McKinson fight this week.

There was zero interest from boxing fans in this fight. Moreover, during the final press conference for the Ortiz vs. McKinson fight, it was like a funeral with very few people there and just De La Hoya and Vergil sitting at a table.

It was difficult to watch the unsmiling De La Hoya and Ortiz interacting at the press conference without McKinson present, and media nowhere to be found.

It looked very odd, especially when you compare it to the enormous fights that Golden Boy Promotions promoted in the past. When you compare the mega-fights that Golden Boy had done involving stars like Canelo Alvarez and then compare it to Ortiz’s match against McKinson, it was utterly devoid of interest.

Was the fight pulled for lack of interest from boxing fans in terms of ticket sales? It wouldn’t be surprised. In hindsight, Golden Boy and DAZN should have matched Ortiz against a better-known opponent than McKinson.

Look at it this way. Vergil Ortiz Jr. isn’t a big star yet and is not well known with casual boxing fans. To create interest in Vergil’s fights, he needs to be matched against fighters that the hardcore boxing fans are familiar with. McKinson is known to British boxing fans, but he’s a household name in the U.S.

If there was a world title on the line for the fight, it Wouldnt have been bad for Ortiz to fight McKinson, but that wasn’t the case. It was just a regular run-of-the-mill fight involving two contenders, one of them from the UK.

“Sources: Vergil Ortiz Jr. has been forced to withdraw from his March 19 fight vs. Michael McKinson that was slated to headline a Golden Boy on DAZN card in L.A. McKinson could fight a replacement opponent,” said Mike Coppinger.




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