The welterweight division has arguably been the most compelling weight class in boxing for a number of years and Texan KO artist Vergil Ortiz feels he is already equipped to battle the reigning elite at 147lbs.
Ortiz (17-0, 17 KOs) believes victory over Lithuanian contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday should cement his claims for a world title tilt in a division that boasts Terence Crawford, Errol Spence, Manny Pacquiao and more.
The bout will be broadcast to a worldwide audience on DAZN and the 23-year-old Ortiz plans to show he presents a real and very imminent threat to the established stars of the welterweight division, having already KOed former WBO 140lbs champion Maurice Hooker in seven in March.
“You got Spence. You got Pac. You got a Crawford-[Shawn] Porter. Danny Garcia is not in the mix anymore. You got [Keith] Thurman, but Thurman hasn’t fought in two years,” Ortiz told DAZN News. “I don’t even know if it’s safe to include them in the Top 10 anymore. I would say [I’m not] that far behind at all. I would be maybe [ranked] like five or six, no more than seven in my opinion.
“I feel like I’m more than ready for a world title shot if I get a win [over Kavaliauskas]. Not only does it prove that I’m ready, but they can’t tell me ‘no’ anymore. You can’t keep pushing a fighter, ‘Oh, fight this guy’.
“As far as being focused, that’s all I do. There’s really nothing else for me to not be focused on. I [play] the guitar, but I do that on my free time. I don’t even do it as long as I do boxing. I do it for maybe like an hour or two and that’s it. I don’t go out. I do nothing. So staying focused is easy.”
Main image: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions.