Vergil Ortiz Jr. He is one of the few athletes who was unfortunate enough to undergo rhabdomyolysis, but his diagnosis put his mind at ease.
Rhabdomyolysis is a long and complicated word to pronounce, and it takes a toll on your body if you’re one of the few athletes unlucky enough to suffer from the condition. Vergil Ortiz Jr. has acquired This knowledge the hard way.
Ortiz (18-0, 18 KOs) is one of the best young welterweight boxers in the world. The 24-year-old from Grand Prairie, Texas, was poised to fight fellow undefeated fighter Michael McKinson in March, but Ortiz was forced to withdraw from the competition a week before the fight.
When the news reached that Ortiz was hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis, many boxing fans had to search Google to understand the disease.
If you’re an Iowa football fan like this former hawk, you know what this state is. In 2011, several Iowa football players have been taken to hospital With rhabdomyolysis after a series of strenuous exercises.
To sum up, rhabdomyolysis is when the body is pushed to the edge of a physical cliff, and the muscles in the body break down, releasing dangerous proteins that can be toxic to the kidneys, liver, and other organs.
Ortiz felt that something wasn’t right for him for a short while. He attributed it to the fatigue and stress of being an elite boxer, but Ortiz realized that this wasn’t just fatigue as his body was starting to let him down.
“It was two weeks earlier than I was supposed to fight, my body kept going downhill, and it didn’t improve,” Ortiz told FanSided.
When Ortiz received the diagnosis from the doctor, he had no idea what rhabdomyolysis was.
“I’ve never heard of that before,” Ortiz said. “When I saw it on paper, I was like, ‘Dude, I can’t even say that,'” Ortiz joked.
Watch Vergil Ortiz Jr. vs Michael McKinson on Saturday, August 6, on DAZN at 9 PM ET
Ortiz knew it was the correct diagnosis based on his symptoms. He spent the night in the hospital and was asked to refrain from any physical activity for three weeks to aid recovery.
Ortiz was disappointed that his fight had come to a halt, but he was also glad he had rhabdomyolysis and nothing worse.
“But you know, I’ll tell you what, I was kind of glad it was something, you know, because if there’s nothing they couldn’t figure out, then it’s like, is it just in a head?” Ortiz said. “It could have been worse.”
Ortiz’s disease worried him. Not knowing what was wrong drove Ortiz’s pessimist out. He was afraid that something was wrong. It was believed that severe illness could derail his boxing career.
“I was like, did my body, like, have had enough in me?” Ortiz doubted. “Will I still be able to carry on with my boxing career or anything like that? So there are definitely a lot of other things out there.”
Rhabdomyolysis can be dangerous if not treated, but it is temporary and can be fixed, which gave Ortiz solace.
Many people have jumped into speculation about why Ortiz has rhabdomyolysis. Was his father pushing him too hard? Was he struggling to gain weight?
Turns out it wasn’t any of the above.
Ortiz spent a lot of time in the gym preparing for his next fight, but appointments kept moving, meaning he never got a break.
“I’ve been training to fight since October because we were supposed to fight at the beginning of the year, like January 2, around, or something,” Ortiz said. “So I’ve been training since October.
“And when I trained, I trained like hardcore, you know. So I had six months of that. And I think by the time March came around, even like February, I was feeling a little tired. He was exaggerated in it.”
Ortiz is fine now and ready to battle McKinson on Saturday, August 6, at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. Ever a professional, Ortiz is focused on this fight, but dreams of becoming world champion are not far from his thoughts.
Errol Spence, Jr. and Terence Crawford hold all the division titles. Ortiz and the rest of the world await a unification match, until the division’s future takes on an added shape. He liked to fight the winner of that match.
“That’s really the end goal,” Ortiz said. “If that’s the only way I can get a world title, I’ll do it. My ultimate goal is just to be the world champion in this weight class. That’s my goal.”
There are no guarantees about making Spence versus Crawford, but Ortiz sees a slightly favorite feature in that hypothetical match.
“And I mean, as far as I think, who’s going to win? I think Crawford has a slight edge, very light,” Ortiz said. I still think Errol can beat him.”
Ortiz’s game against Crawford or Spence will be a huge battle, but Ortiz still has work to do against the tough Mackinson, but at least that date is close, and Ortiz is in perfectly good health.