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Ortiz Jr., A Future Star, Gets Back On Track January 6 

This is Ortiz Jr’s first foray into the 154lbs weight class

Virgil Ortiz Jr. has the pedigree and potential to be the next big thing in boxing. So it’s fitting that the young man from Texas with dynamite in his hands will have the privilege of starting off the boxing New Year when he faces Ghana’s Frederick Lawson on January 6th from The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.  The fight will be broadcast on DAZN.


Ortiz hasn’t been seen since August 2022 and is coming off a long layoff due to injuries. Yet, his last three victory were all knockouts over serious contenders Maurice Hooker, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, and Micheal McKinson for welterweight.  


Incredibly for a future pay-per-view star he is fighting for only the fourth time in Las Vegas. What’s even more eye-opening about this bout is that it is at 154 lbs. This is Ortiz Jr’s first foray into the weight class and signals he has ambitions at 154 lbs and potentially at 160 lbs where frankly larger purses are potentially earned. 


The shine has not gone off the man named the 2019 The Ring magazine Prospect of the Year.  Not least because of his perfect power – 19 stoppages in as many contests. Again these wins have come up against increasingly better competition every time out. 


Perhaps that can’t be said about Fredrick Lawson 30-3 with three knockout losses to his name but, the match-up is more than acceptable given Ortiz Jr.’s long time away from the  

ring due to health related issues. 


Lawson’s early wins were in Ghana, a country which punches above its weight in the world of boxing. It has produced some of Africa’s most notable names such as Azumah Nelson and Ike Quartey. Quartey of course had a memorable scrap with Oscar De La Hoya who now heads Golden Boy Promotions which is promoting the fight. 


There is no doubt this match-up is attracting more attention than a normal tune-up fight. This one will be something special as Ortiz Jr. is hungry to be back in action after sitting out of the ring for over a year. 


Even the poster seems to be different from the ordinary. You can’t help but, notice the bat like images in the background – a possible reference to sometime boxing correspondent and legendary writer Hunter S. Thompson who wrote about Muhammad Ali and covered the Rumble in the Jungle. His famous non-fiction work “Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas” includes a famous scene where the protagonists (including Thompson) end up hallucinating about bats during a road-trip to Sin City.


January 6th won’t be anywhere near that level of course but, it is definitely one to circle on the calendar. Its not one to miss and you can reckon it will be over in a hurry.

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