By Steve Kim Updated on January 08, 2024

A Weeks Stoppage and Other Stuff

Picture for A Weeks Stoppage and Other Stuff

There isn't much you can take from Vergil Ortiz's return this Saturday night. His bout versus Fredrick Lawson went less than a round, and was prematurely halted by referee, Tony Weeks. Fair or not, he has become the modern day Richard Steele, a referee who is defined by questionable stoppages, and who the fans have had enough off.

It was back in May that he bailed out Rolando Romero versus Ismael Barroso (and more on him later) in what was a highly panned decision to wave things off in the ninth round of a bout that Barroso was in control off.

Weeks can no longer be trusted in big fights. 

Picture for A Weeks Stoppage and Other StuffCris Esqueda/Golden Boy Promotions

While the two circumstances of these wave-offs were different, they are similar in a sense that both rulings benefitted the house fighter. Romero was a PBC boxer in need of a WBA title belt, while Ortiz was a Golden Boy Promotions boxer just looking to get back into the swing of things. It has to be mentioned that in no way did Weeks latest decision really disrupt the outcome of the fight. 

Ortiz has had tougher sparring session at the RGBA.

Lawson (who had been stopped in all three off his previous defeats) was brought in as cannon fodder. The real victory for Ortiz was just making weight (which was 156 pounds for this contest) and then actually hearing the bell for round one. This was his first outing since the summer of 2022. All Weeks really had to do was wait another 15-20 seconds and the halting of the fight would've been much more palatable to the viewing audience.

Vergil Ortiz Jr SHINES on return | Vergil Ortiz Jr. vs. Fredrick Lawson Fight Highlights


Ortiz, who has battled health and weight issues, for the better part of two years is now ready to regain his career momentum. Only now he'll do so as a junior middleweight, and he has his target set on a boxer who unlike himself, was extremely active the past year as he sharpened his skills.

“I’m ready for anyone. It felt like I’m back to doing what I usually do,” said Ortiz Jr. “This is my calling; this is what I was made to do and I want to continue doing this. There’s a lot of fighters that I want to fight, but Tim Tszyu, with all due respect, I want him next. He’s a hell of a fighter and it would be an honor to take him next.”

Picture for A Weeks Stoppage and Other StuffCris Esqueda/Golden Boy Promotions

How soon he'll be ready for such an assignment is the question. It says here that Golden Boy should make sure that Ortiz (20-0, 20 KOs) is back out there no later than April or May, and has at least three outings in 2024. His truncated outing this past weekend, was just his fourth bout since the end of 2020.

This year should be about making up for lost time (and development).



So about that proposed match-up between WBC junior welterweight titlist, Devin Haney, and matinee idol, Ryan Garcia, for the spring?

Yeah, fugghedaboutit.

Picture for A Weeks Stoppage and Other Stuff

After about a month of posturing about this bout, Garcia has changed his mind and will now instead focus on a fight against the aforementioned Romero. Call this a case of risk-vs-reward. The bottom line is that while both bouts are lucrative, one (Romero) is much less difficult. And the thinking is that getting Romero's WBA 140-pound belt will only further Garcia's bargaining position down the line versus Haney, or anyone else for that matter.

Again, belts matter.

There was an issue with Ohara Davies, who had insisted that he would not be taking any step-aside fee, as he had a WBA mandatory position lined up. Well, that was eradicated by Barroso, who blasted him out in one round on the Ortiz-Lawson undercard at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. That bout was labeled a WBA 'interim' title bout.

Picture for A Weeks Stoppage and Other StuffCris Esqueda/Golden Boy Promotions

Now, does this mean that Barroso gets another shot at Romero? Or does he take a step-aside fee to allow Garcia to fight for that belt?



It was announced on Friday that a heavyweight tilt between former unified champion, Anthony Joshua, and Francis Ngannou, will take place on March 8th in the latest card to be held in Saudi Arabia...Golden Boy announced that former unified junior welterweight titlist, Jose Ramirez, had been added to their roster...Arnold Barboza returned with an 8th round TKO of Xolisani Ndongeni....Raul Curiel got in some solid work in halting Elias Diaz in eight....'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez and I will return this week....Lamar Jackson has to be the MVP of the NFL, right?....I can be reached at





About Author
A Weeks Stoppage and Other Stuff
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.