Vergil Ortiz Jr. Tested, But Ultimately Stops Egidijus Kavaliauskas
By: Hans Themistode
Throughout most of his young career, Vergil Ortiz Jr. has craved for someone, anyone, to give him a true fight. With a jam-packed crowd filing into their seats at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, the 23-year-old was given just that, a fight.
As Egidijus Kavaliauskas sauntered his way to the ring, the former 147-pound title challenger, exuded an extreme amount of confidence. The Lithuanians self-belief only grew after a strong opening round.
In most instances, considering the overwhelming power of Ortiz Jr., his opponents have seldom been willing to stand there and trade with him. In the case of Kavaliauskas, he stood his ground and pushed out a strong jab. At times, Ortiz Jr. (18-0, 18 KOs) seemed bothered by the firepower that was coming in his direction.
As the bell rung to signal the beginning of the second round, Kavaliauskas (22-2-1, 18 KOs) came out aggressive. Unwilling to cede ground, Ortiz Jr. moved forward and found himself right in the wheelhouse of his man. Kavaliauskas took full advantage of his over-anxious opponent and landed a right uppercut that visibly shook Ortiz Jr. Kavaliauskas quickly followed up and landed several unanswered shots.
Shortly after his barrage, Ortiz Jr. hit the deck but it was ultimately ruled a slip. With the 23-year-old seemingly hurt for the first time in his career, he turned up the pressure in the third. The hard-hitting Dallas native found plenty of success as he nailed the former two-time Olympian several times over.
Their showdown ultimately went from a tactical boxing match, to a back and forth brawl. Unafraid to engage in Ortiz Jr.’s barnburner style of attack, Kavaliauskas fought fire with fire and found himself on the winning end of plenty exchanges. Still, while the 23-year-old ate plenty of leather, he began moving closer and closer.
In a moment’s notice, as Kavaliauskas continued to enjoy what appeared to be a round he was banking, Ortiz Jr. sent him to the canvas, courtesy of the straight right hand.
Under normal circumstances, Ortiz Jr. would waste no time in going on the attack. But, considering the damage Kavaliauskas dished out to him earlier in their contest, the Dallas product appeared content with taking his time and boxing on the outside.
Things between the pair continued to get heated during the midway point of their contest. Ortiz Jr. seemed to be getting stronger but Kavaliauskas was still very much in it. The long-standing 147-pound contender took the center of the ring and refused to back up an inch. A grinning Ortiz Jr. walked right into the mug of his much older opponent and traded punches, much to the delight of the crowd.
A visibly tired Kavaliauskas trudged out slowly out of his corner to begin the eighth round. Ortiz Jr., on the other, bounced on his toes and came out strong. He immediately dropped Kavaliauskas, something that would become a constant theme throughout the round. The Lithuanian quickly rose to his feet but found himself tasting the canvas once again.
Kavaliauskas showed plenty of heart by climbing back to his feet once again but was immediately sent to the ground once more, this time for good.
With the win, Ortiz Jr. made it clear that for his next showdown, he would love a matchup against WBO belt holder, Terence Crawford.
“I’m ready to fight whoever,” said Ortiz Jr. following his win. “I don’t care if it’s Crawford, [Errol] Spence, [Manny] Pacquiao you name it. I’ll fight anyone.”
Vergil Ortiz Reportedly Set To Take On Egidijus Kavaliauskas On August 14th
By: Hans Themistode
Egidijus Kavaliauskas is desperate to get another crack at a world title. So much so in fact, that he’s willing to face one of the biggest punchers in the welterweight division.
As first reported by Steve Kim of The 3 Knockdown Rule, Kavaliauskas is set to take on Vergil Ortiz Jr. on August 14th at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. The bout will be broadcast on DAZN.
As previously mentioned, Kavaliauskas (22-1-1, 18 KOs) is hoping to jump back into the championship mix. In his first shot for a world title against Terence Crawford in late 2019, Kavaliauskas gave a good account for himself. In the early going, the prohibited underdog tagged the pound for pound star with several hard shots and even appeared to drop Crawford after an awkward scrum in the early rounds.
While the Lithuanian may have enjoyed moments of success, Crawford immediately put an end to it as he found his rhythm. Kavaliauskas would eventually hit the deck in the seventh round before ultimately getting stopped in the ninth. Since then, Kavaliauskas has bounced back. He manhandled and stopped fringe contender Mikael Zewski in September of 2020. At the moment, he’s currently ranked number five in the WBO but figures to make a significant jump in the rankings should he hand Ortiz, the number one ranked fighter in the sanctioning body, his first pro loss.
After pocketing the biggest win of his career against Maurice Hooker, stopping him in the seventh round in March of 2021, Ortiz (17-0, 17 KOs) has made it no secret that he wants to compete for a world title. On several occasions, the 23-year-old has admitted that although he isn’t sure if he’s ready to face Crawford, he’s still willing to step inside the ring with him. Should Ortiz pull off the win and continue his knockout streak, he could be made mandatory for Crawford’s WBO title in 2022.
ESPN+ Boxing Results: Egidijus Kavaliauskas Makes Statement Against Mikael Zewski
Egidijus Kavaliauskas (22-1-1, 18 KOs) was determined to prove that he was more then a one hit wonder. After giving pound for pound star Terence Crawford all he could handle in his last ring appearance, Kavaliauskas jumped back into the win column against Mikael Zewski (34-2, 23 KOs).
After dominating much of the fight, Kavaliauskas found a way to close the show. He did so by forcing referee Robert Hoyle to step in and call an end to their contest in the eighth.
Egidijus Kavaliauskas vs Mikael Zewski: Fight Preview
By: Hans Themistode
2019 simply wasn’t kind to welterweight contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas. After settling for a majority decision draw against Ray Robinson earlier in the year, Kavaliauskas suffered a huge setback in the form of a ninth round knockout loss in the biggest contest of his career against WBO belt holder Terence Crawford.
Since then, Kavaliauskas has been sitting idly on the sidelines. He’ll now look to shake off any COVID-19 induced ring rust off when he takes on Mikael Zewski later on tonight.
For Zewski, he finds himself in the exact same position that Kavaliauskas was just in. An unknown commodity with an impressive record that was mostly built off the backs of inferior competition. In addition to his pumped up record, Zewski hasn’t fought in the United States since 2015 as he’s made Canada his new de-facto home with eight straight wins across the border.
In terms of physical advantages, both men are roughly even. Kavaliauskas will carry a one inch reach advantage while Zewski will be the slightly taller man by two inches. The former title challenger has fought the better competition between them, but does come in slightly older by one year.
All in all, both men are almost mirror images of one another. And neither can afford a slip up now.
Kavaliauskas currently enjoys a reputation of giving pound for pound star Terence Crawford one of the most difficult contests of his career. A loss to Zewski won’t simply put a dent in said reputation, it will solidify him as a non contender all together.
As for Zewski, he hasn’t come close to sniffing a world title opportunity. His chances of receiving one will become less likely should he come up woefully short on the night.
With so much on the line for both men, look for them to give it their all in the main event later this evening.
The action officially kicks off at 8 PM Eastern time on ESPN.
Egidijus Kavaliauskas Would Love Another Shot At Terence Crawford: “I Know He Is Beatable”
By: Hans Themistode
One time is usually all it takes for the opponents of Terence Crawford to realize that he’s as good as everyone says he is.
The undefeated three division world champion has never found himself in a close matchup throughout his career. But with a spotless record inside of the ring and near flawless performances each and every time out, the Nebraska native has shown a small chink in his armor.
In what was thought to be nothing more than a walk in the park against the unheralded Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Crawford had a surprisingly difficult time with the former Olympian. Not only was the current WBO belt holder out boxed early on, but it appeared that he was rocked and dropped in the third round. Regardless of his early success, Kavaliauskas was ultimately dropped on three separate occasions before getting stopped in the ninth round.
Things may have gone awry, but if he was given a second chance at Crawford, he would do it in a heartbeat.
“If I get the opportunity to fight Crawford, I would do it all over again. I want to face him again,” said Kavaliauskas during a recent virtual press conference. “I know he is beatable. Everyone is. I liked how the fight started, but not how it ended. I lost focus in the middle of the fight.”
The defeat for Kavaliauskas may have given him the first loss of his pro career, but the experience of not only fighting a pound for pound fighter, but giving him a run for his money, did wonders for his self belief.
“At the end of the day, that fight gave me more confidence. I was definitely in the fight. It made me a better fighter. I corrected the mistakes I did make, and now I’m coming stronger.”
With Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) seemingly tied up with former champion Kell Brook, a rematch is far from likely to ever take place. Still, even if the Lithuanian born contender isn’t afforded a rematch, then he’ll simply work his way from the ground up to force one of the welterweight champions to face him.
“I want to face the best opponents at welterweight. My goal is to become mandatory and fight for another world title. I would like to fight the top names at 147.”
The road to securing a second shot at a world title for Kavaliauskas (21-1-1, 17 KOs) begins this Saturday night when he takes on Mikael Zewski. A win over his man on the night won’t place him in championship contention, but Kavaliauskas does believe that the fans will get their money’s worth.
“Zewski is also a pressure fighter like me. I think we have similar styles, and I really believe we will make a very entertaining fight on Saturday. I know the fireworks will begin in the very first round. This will be an action fight!”