Vergil Ortiz Jr’s return to the ring was overshadowed by what many viewers have branded ‘the worst stoppage ever’ against Frederick Lawson.
The 156lbs catchweight comeback of Ortiz was suitably hyped after 17 months of being sidelined with health issues. Lawson – who entered the ring with three defeats on his record, all coming by stoppage and including a broken jaw in 2015 – looked to upset the odds.
The pair set about finding their range at the opening bell before Ortiz put some work in to the body of Lawson and managed to back him up to the ropes with a counter hook.
Warmed up, he put together a flurry of shots to the body and head of the shelled-up underdog, and referee Tony Weeks waved it off ten seconds after no return fire. Boos rang out around the arena.
It represents the second Weeks’ stoppage in a short time that fans have labelled wildly early, the other being Rolando Romero’s win over Ismael Barroso – the same man who scored an impressive first round knockout on the Ortiz-Lawson undercard.
Weeks picked up on the criticism and took to Facebook, potentially changing the narrative entirely with his claims.
“What the public didn’t know [is] that prior to the fight they did a brain scan on him [Lawson] and it came up that he had an aneurysm, and they did a test again and the same aneurysm came up. Another doctor was brought in and gave him the same examination and he tested negative for the aneurysm, so they cleared him to fight.”
With this information, the complaints may now be directed at the Nevada State Athletic Commission rather than Weeks. Responding, Golden Boy Promotions said:
“Frederick Lawson was cleared by a Nevada State Athletic Commission sanctioned doctor to fight on Saturday night. All other questions should be referred to NSAC.”