WBA makes Eimantas Stanionis mandatory for Spence vs. Crawford winner on July 29th

By Boxing News - 07/08/2023 - Comments

By Chris Williams: The WBA has made ‘regular’ 147-lb champion Eimantas Stanionis mandatory for the winner of the Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford fight on July 29th.

In another move by the World Boxing Association, they’ve removed Vergil Ortiz Jr as the mandatory challenger to Stanionis’ secondary strap after his medical problem caused the cancellation of his previously scheduled fight tonight.

For the 25-year-old Ortiz Jr, this was the third time he’d had a medical issue that had gotten in the waay of facing Stanionis.

The 28-year-old Stanionis’ resume is barren of quality names and one of the worst Chris Williams has ever seen for a champion. When the best name on your resume is Radzhab Butaev, you’re NOT going to get the chance to fight Spence or Crawford.

Spence-Crawford winner WON’T fight Stanionis

Unfortunately for Stanionis, his chances of fighting the winner of the Spence-Craawford fight on July 29th are pretty much zero because they’re going to meet in a well-paying rematch. Why would they waste their time-fighting Stanionis?

There’s no money in a fight against the little-known Stanionis, as he’s NOT a household name in the United States. Spence & Crawford could pick almost anyone at the bottom of the 147 rankings, and it would amount to the same as fighting the obscure secondary WBA champion Stanionis.

What’s likely to happen is that after Spence & Crawford fight twice this year, the WBA belt, along with the other three straps, will be vacated by the winner. Those two will go up to 154 to chase paydays against Tim Tszyu & Jermell Charlo if he returns to junior middleweight after his fight with Canelo Alvarez on September 30th.

Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs) will likely be elevated to full champion after Spence & Crawford moves to 154. The best option for Stanionis would then be to try and set up a fight with one of these welterweights:

– Keith Thurman
– Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis
– Roiman Villa
– Josh Taylor

Stanionis needs to build a fan base because he’s too unknown for him to be worth fighting by the popular guys. Yeah, he’s a champion, but he’s a secondary one, not the true champ at 147.

The tragedy is that once the Spence-Crawford winner vacates the four welterweight belts, Stanionis will be viewed as a paper champion after he’s elevated to his championship status without fighting for it.

If Stanionis start beating quality opposition like Boots Ennis, he’d pick up some fans and be worthy of a fight with Spence or Crawford, as long as he’s willing to go up to 154 because they’re certainly not going to come back won to 147 to fight him.

Again, no money in that fight for them.  I don think Stanionis would beat Boots Ennis or even Roiman Villa. The Lithuanian fighter gets hit too much, and he’d chopped apart by those guys.

Stanionis’ best career wins:

  • Radzhab Butaev
  • Thomas Dulorme
  • Luis Collazo
  • Justin Deloach