FightPost Boxer of the Week: Vergil Ortiz
By Gary Kittilsen
As boxing begins to return to normal, Golden Boy Promotions made its much-anticipated return. The promotional company held its first card since the Covid-19 outbreak on Friday night. It was only fitting that Golden Boy would return with their top gun, the future of their stable, and that’s exactly what they did.
22-year-old Dallas, Texas native Vergil Ortiz, of Dallas, Texas, capped off Golden Boy’s return to the ring with a nearly perfect performance. Scoring a one-sided, brutal, seventh-round TKO over game veteran Samuel Vargas to improve his perfect record to 16-0 with all 16 wins coming by way of stoppage. He confirmed his status as the future of Golden Boy, one of the most touted prospects in the sport as well takes home our Fighter of the Week award.
The Ortiz-Vargas showdown was originally scheduled for March but was postponed due to the pandemic. Vargas who has fought Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, and Errol Spence walked into the much-anticipated showdown extremely confident.
Saying he thought he should have been the betting favorite. He quickly found out why he was not. The 22-year old caught Vegas with a straight hand that backed him up midway through the opening round and followed up with a barrage of right hands and left hooks, stunning the veteran badly in round one.
The Texan continued to dominate the early rounds and by the fourth, it was only a matter of what round would he take his opponent out as he wobbled Vargas with a left uppercut and followed up with a barrage of power shots that had referee Jack Reiss locking in and Vargas holding on for dear life.
Vargas was able to make it through the fourth. After dominating the fifth and sixth rounds with pinpoint accurate right hands, Ortiz looked to take his rugged opponent out in the seventh. Picking up the pace and firing 125 punches in the seventh, the young prospect simply overwhelmed the aging veteran.
Ortiz scored with two straight right hands that backed Vargas up and a third that nearly dropped him and sent him stumbling across the ring. Vargas in a sign of desperation tackled Ortiz to the ground to try and by himself sometimes.
It did little to slow the momentum as Ortiz once again rocked him with a lead uppercut that again staggered him. This time there was no slowing the young Texan. Ortiz battered his overwhelmed opponent against the ropes for the final minute of the round, giving him every chance to respond Referee Jack Reiss finally stepped in and stopped the fight just before the bell rang to end the seventh round. Giving Ortiz his 16th knockout victory in 16 fights.
Ortiz is perhaps the most exciting American prospect in boxing today. Fortunately, for him and for fight fans, he fights in a star-studded, talent heavy division where he can get big money mega fights in the near future. Ortiz was apparently aware of this and wasted no time making major call-outs after destroying Vargas.
The undefeated Texan called out some of the biggest names in the sport, including Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, and Shawn Porter. Three guys who have been in the top five of the 147-pound division for the last five years.
There is one other avenue Ortiz could look to go should none of those fighters step up to the plate. Ortiz is currently ranked number 2 by the WBO, Danny Garcia is ranked number one, he will likely opt for an Errol Spence fight as opposed to going the mandatory route. That would take him out of the organization’s ratings and likely move Ortiz to number one in the WBO’s rankings were he could force a fight with WBO titleholder Terence Crawford.
Given Ortiz’s dominance over a stepped-up level of competition of his last four fights. Its certainly not too early to think that Ortiz, at just 22, could pull the upset over any of these famed welterweights.