Red-hot Golden Boy Promotions prospect Vergil Ortiz Jr. (13-0, 13 KO’s) will look to continue his surge through the professional ranks this Saturday, as he takes on former WBC Silver champion Antonio Orozco (28-1, 17 KO’s) for the vacant WBA Gold welterweight strap in Dallas, Texas.
Ortiz Jr., whose venomous, all-action style has seen him labelled as one of the leading future stars in the sport, looked sensational last time out, becoming the first man to stop crafty Mexican Mauricio Herrera inside three rounds on the Canelo-Jacobs undercard in May.
In what was viewed by many as a sizeable jump in quality, Ortiz Jr. went about his task against Herrera in merciless fashion, dropping the then-38-year-old former World title challenger in the second round, before poleaxing him with a shuddering right hand in the third to claim an emphatic breakout victory.
On Saturday night, he steps up up in class once more, squaring off against California’s Orozco in another opportunity to send out a statement to the rest of the super lightweight division.
Orozco, however, will have plans of his own, and will look at Ortiz Jr. as a potential springboard towards World title contention.
With the sole loss on Orozco’s record coming at the hands of now-unified WBC/WBO World champion Jose Ramirez back in September 2018, the 31-year-old will firmly believe he not only has the edge in experience, but that he has undoubtedly faced the stiffer opposition to date.
It is a measure of the confidence shown in Ortiz Jr. by his promotional team, as well as trainer Robert Garcia, that the 21-year-old phenomenon heads into his second consecutive recognised test this weekend against Orozco, so soon after dispatching of Mauricio Herrera.
With Golden Boy Promotions seemingly at loggerheads with prized asset Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and babyfaced prodigy Ryan Garcia, Ortiz Jr.’s return to the ring should render some much-needed positive headlines.
Though Orozco represents a clear step-up, expect the rangy, well-schooled Ortiz Jr. to control the bout from distance in the opening exchanges; making his added size and punching-power count in the middle rounds as he becomes the first man to stop Orozco somewhere in the middle rounds.