Vergil Ortiz pulls out of fight with Eimantas Stanionis for third time after passing out

FRISCO, TX - AUGUST 14: Vergil Ortiz Jr. (R) celebrates his knockout victory over Egidijus Kavaliauskas during their WBO International Welterweight title fight at Ford Center at The Star on August 14, 2021 in Frisco, Texas.  (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)

Vergil Ortiz has again been plagued with health issues and was forced to pull out of Saturday’s WBA welterweight title fight against Eimantas Stanionis after fainting. (Omar Vega/Getty Images)

Highly regarded undefeated welterweight prospect Vergil Ortiz reportedly passed out on Wednesday and was forced to pull out of his fight against champion Eimantas Stanionis on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas for the WBA title on Thursday.

Golden Boy Promotions announced Ortiz’s retirement in a statement and noted that Floyd Schofield will face Haskell Rhodes in the main event on Saturday on DAZN.

In a statement attributed only to Golden Boy Promotions, the company confirmed Ortiz’s withdrawal.

Nothing is more important than the safety of our fighters, and of course we support Vergil’s decision 100%. This unfortunate event, however, opens the door for one of Golden Boy’s top prospects, Floyd Schofield, to accelerate his headlining profile in his home state of Texas. We will, as always, be putting a high card into top-down action on July 8th and look forward to showcasing all of our fighters in San Antonio and on DAZN.

Stanionis manager Shelly Finkel told Yahoo Sports on Thursday that Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told her Ortiz passed out and was taken to a local hospital. He was forced to pull out of the fight due to poor health, the third time in fifteen months that has happened between the pair.

Ortiz, who has battled COVID-19 and rhabdomyolysis for the past three years, has had to delay many more fights since 2020 due to his health.

Yahoo Sports could not reach Gomez for comment. But Finkel said a media appearance at The Alamo on Wednesday was canceled. Finkel said he was supposed to meet with Gomez after the event at the Alamo, but said Gomez asked to reschedule it.

“He called me and said: ‘[Ortiz] passed out last night and was taken to hospital and we are waiting for the doctors to know if there is a fight,” Finkel said.

Finkel said Stanionis was Errol Spence Jr.’s proxy for the WBA title, but he agreed to step down so Spence could fight Crawford for the undisputed championship on July 29 in Las Vegas. Stanionis then agreed to face Ortiz a third time.

When Ortiz pulled out again, both Stanionis and Finkel were understandably frustrated.

“It’s horrible for the kid [Ortiz]”, Finkel said. “I feel so bad for Eimantas. But what can you do? We plan to try and get everything we can, but it’s terrible. … I don’t know if there is another option to take and then fight this [bout against the Crawford-Spence winner]. I preserve all rights of Eimantas. I’m going to ask our attorney, who I’ve spoken to before, to send a letter to the BA saying it’s not our fault. They agreed and felt bad for Eimantas. He won a title and couldn’t defend it.”

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