The welterweight fight between Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Eimantas Stanionis, scheduled for April 29 in Arlington, Texas, has been postponed after Ortiz was forced to withdraw due to a recurrence of rhabdomyolysis, Golden Boy Promotions announced on Wednesday.
"Vergil works tirelessly to prepare for his fights and this is of course a huge disappointment for Golden Boy, him and his family," said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya in a statement. "Despite this setback, I truly believe Vergil remains focused and will accomplish his goal of becoming a world champion this year and going on to become the top welterweight in the division."
The 147-pound fight is expected to be rescheduled for this summer, sources told ESPN. It was originally set for March 18 but was delayed after Stanionis underwent an emergency appendectomy in his native Lithuania in January.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, rhabdomyolysis occurs when damaged muscle tissue releases its proteins and electrolytes into the blood. These substances can damage the heart and kidneys and cause permanent disability or even death.
The condition forced Ortiz to postpone a previous fight in March 2022 against Michael McKinson. Ortiz would go on to score a ninth-round TKO of McKinson in August.
Ortiz's promoter, Golden Boy, won the rights to the WBA "regular" welterweight title fight with a bid of $2.3 million. Stanionis won the secondary title with a split-decision victory over Radzhab Butaev in April and is entitled to 75% of the winning bid, while Ortiz will earn much more than the $575,000 he's set to make via the purse bid.
The bout shapes up as a coin-flip matchup between two pressure fighters in one of boxing's best weight classes.
Ortiz (19-0, 19 KOs), 25, is rated No. 4 by ESPN at welterweight. Ortiz fights out of the Dallas-Fort Worth area and broke through last year with a pair of stoppage wins over Maurice Hooker and Egidijus Kavaliauskas.
Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs), 28, is ESPN's No. 6 boxer at 147 pounds. He also has a win over Thomas Dulorme.