Vergil Ortiz Jr. vs. Fredrick Lawson: Strategic Analysis

By Sal Arteaga - 01/06/2024 - Comments

Vergil Ortiz Jr. (19-0, 19 KOs) makes his return to the ring tonight after a 17-month layoff, facing Fredrick Lawson (30-3, 22 KOs) at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Vergil has had to overcome numerous health issues, including rhabdomyolysis. He’s healthy now and seeks to return to championship form and be the Ortiz who dominated his opponents, defeating them all by knockout.

Fredrick Lawson of Ghana is stepping up his level of competition against Vergil Ortiz Jr. He’s never faced anyone of Vergils’s caliber before. Lawson has struggled against strong pressure fighters in the past. In his match against Kevin Bizier (25-3, 17 KOs) he wasn’t able to defend

against the high-volume attack of Bizier. He allowed Bizier to dictate the exchanges, control the range, and land repeatedly. Lawson was unable to fend off Bizier’s punches, and offensively had very limited success. If he repeats this performance against Ortiz, it will be a very short night against a very active power puncher.

Vergil Ortiz Jr. looks physically ready to make his return, and if he’s the Ortiz of old, he should make quick work of Lawson. The biggest question here is if his health problems have diminished him as a boxer.

If they haven’t, we should see a strong dominant performance from Ortiz. According to Compubox, Vergil Ortiz is one of the most accurate combination punchers in the sport, with a combination punching efficiency of 40.3 percent.

This is second to only stablemate Jesse Rodriguez (41.7%). Lawson will struggle against Vergil’s output rate, similarly to how he struggled against Bizier. He will be unable to defend and will retreat, hoping to fend off Ortiz’s punches. Lawson has very limited head movement and does very little to make opponents miss.

Stylistically, Vergil will be vintage Vergil as he’s returned to Oxnard, California, to train with world-renowned trainer Robert Garcia. He’s performed at his best with Robert, and he should be back to form now that he’s back at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy. Vergil is physically the bigger, stronger puncher, and it showed at the weigh-in.

Vergil Ortiz Jr. weighed in at 156 pounds, while Fredrick Lawson weighed in at 152.4 pounds. Vergil may show some ring rust early due to the 17-month layoff, but he will overpower Lawson with both his power and speed.