Vergil Ortiz Ready To Hit New York
By: Sean Crose
With an impressive record of 11-0 with 11 knockouts, Texas native Vergil Ortiz is beginning to make a name for himself in the super lightweight division. The fact that the Golden Boy promoted fighter is now on his way to hit the Big Apple for one of the biggest fight cards of the year serves as an indication as to just how highly Ortiz is starting to be regarded. “It feels great,” he tells me of the upcoming experience. “I’ve never been to New York.” Now, the man isn’t only heading to the city that never sleeps, he’s taking part in the Canelo Alvarez – Rocky Fielding undercard, part of a major night of boxing that will be aired live on the DAZN Streaming Service.
“I haven’t heard anything yet,” Ortiz says of potential opponents, though it’s clear Golden Boy is looking to showcase their fighter’s talents before an east coast audience. “My one hundred percent knockout ratio is really catching people’s eyes,” he admits, adding: “I don’t want to say it should…but I’ve really worked hard for it.” Not that Ortiz has always gone for the knockout. In fact, during his last two bouts Ortiz wasn’t expecting the knockout to happen. “I wasn’t looking for it,” he says of his most recent opponent. “Both of us didn’t see it coming.”
Ortiz is happy to still be trained by Robert Garcia, brother of Mikey, former champion in his own right, and now famous cornerman. “I’m training in California,” says Ortiz of his preparation for the December matchup. “I get all the sparring done up here.” Ortiz makes it clear, however, that he stays in shape even when he’s not preparing for a fight. When it’s time to settle down, he heads west for Garcia’s tutelage. If things keep going at the pace they are, Ortiz and Garcia will be seeing a lot of each other in the upcoming year.
Provided he wins in New York, Ortiz aims to fight “four or five times” in 2019. Although it’s hard not to notice a man with Ortiz’ impressive resume to date, Ortiz is “taking things step by step” in order to secure an impressive future. Appearing on DAZN may well be a promising development. The streaming service, along with other streaming services like ESPN+, may well symbolize the future of boxing. As for the moment, Ortiz keeps life simple, focusing on matters like daily training and playing guitar in his free time.
“I’m playing it pretty much every day,” he says.
Vergil Ortiz KO’s Former Champ Juan Carlos Salgado on ESPN2 Saturday
By: Ken Hissner
Golden Boy Promotions featured 20 year-old hot unbeaten knockout artist Vergil Ortiz, Jr. against former world champion Juan Carlos Salgado at the Belasco Theater, in L.A., CA, Saturday night over ESPN2.
In the Main Event Super lightweight Vergil Ortiz, Jr., 10-0 (10), of Dallas, Texas, knocked out the former IBF & WBA Super Featherweight champion Juan Carlos Salgado, 27-9-1 (16), of Mexico City, MEX, at 1:52 of the third round of a scheduled 10.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Boxing Twitter Page
In the first round Ortiz rocked Salgado with a left hook to the head. Halfway through the round Ortiz landed a left hook to the solar plexus of Salgado. In the second round Salgado drove Ortiz back several steps landing four unanswered punches. Ortiz was warned for pushing Salgado to the canvas on the back of his neck. Ortiz landed a right hand to the chin driving Salgado to the ropes.
In the third round Ortiz landed half a dozen unanswered punches driving Salgado into the ropes. Both fighters exchanged right hands. Ortiz landed a left hook to the liver and down went Salgado causing referee Raul Caiz to wave it off.
“I do not want to get ahead of myself but I am looking to become a champion,” said Ortiz. At ringside, trainer Joel Diaz, Sr., proclaimed how great of a prospect Ortiz is whom he helped train.
In the co-feature Super Featherweight Hector “El Finito” Tanajara, Jr., 14-0 (5), of San Antonio, TX, defeated Roger “The Kid” Gutierrez, 19-2-1 (16), of Maracaibo, VZ, over 8 rounds.
In the first round coming off his first loss Gutierrez is pressing Tanajara looking for a quick stoppage. Gutierrez was warned for hitting behind the head by referee Wayne Hedgpeth. Tanajara came back landing a left hook south of the border and receiving a warning. In the second round it was much closer with Tanajara giving as much as taking.
In the third round the highly regarded Tanajara started getting more offensive landing a double left hook to the body and head of Gutierrez. Tanajara rocked Gutierrez with a lead right hand to the head with less than a minute left in the round. In the fourth round both fighters exchanged right hands to the head.
Tanajara drove Gutierrez into the corner of the ring with a right hand to the chin.
In the fifth round Gutierrez landed a straight right to the chin of Tanajara. Gutierrez got a warning about using his head in clinches from the referee.
Tanajara worked his way back into the fight the past several rounds. In the sixth round once again Gutierrez looked to the ref for help and got hit with a right hand from Tanajara to the head. The fight seems about even at this point.
In the seventh round Gutierrez is getting spun around and holds Tanajara twice receiving warnings. Tanajara landed a left hook and when he tried it a second time he missed and ended up on the canvas. In the eighth and final round the clinching continued with the fight on the line one would think both would be looking to win the round not wrestle. Gutierrez landed several punches before taking a right to the head from Tanajara. Tanajara landed a right to the head of Gutierrez causing a cut over the left eye. I counted 8 clinches in this the final round.
Scores were 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. This writer had it 77-75.
Super Welterweight Ferdinand Kerobyan, 9-0 (5), of Armenia now in Glendale, CA, stopped Edgar Ivan “El Profe” Garcia, 7-17-1 (2), of Sonora, MEX, at 2:48 of the 2nd round of a scheduled 6 rounds.
In the first round the taller Kerobyan gave a punishing beating to the body for the entire round. In round 2 Garcia got in a couple of punches but Kerobyan took over with more of a body beating until Garcia finally fell to a knee forcing referee Raul Caiz to wave it off. “I want to return to 147,” said Kerobyan. He had a big amateur career in Europe.
Vergil Ortiz: “My Ultimate Goal Is To Be Remembered”
By: Sean Crose
“I have like four or five guitars,” super lightweight Vergil Ortiz tells me. “I got into music when I played Guitar Hero.” It’s not often that a contemporary fighter – perhaps with the exception of woodwind practitioner Keith Thurman – is known for a love of instruments. An interesting thing about Ortiz, however, is that he’s quite open to talking about an area of interest outside of the ring. “I like to play guitar or piano,” he explains. It was being exposed to the piano, in fact, that led to Ortiz discovering an interesting truth about himself. “I realized I kind of have an ear for music.”
Ortiz sees music as an outlet, a chance to be himself, after six full days of training a week. After four to six miles of daily roadwork and other grueling weekly routines (“Every other day we spar”) Ortiz appreciates his spare time. “I like to play my guitar or piano,” he says. Still, the 9-0 Texan knows that his primary focus has to be his ring career. When I ask if he has a wife, girlfriend or children, Ortiz makes it clear that there will be time for such fulfillment in the future. “I’m just focused on boxing right now,” he tells me. “That’ll all come later.”
A native of Grand Prairie, “a pretty big small town” outside of Dallas, the undefeated Ortiz is developing the reputation for having Texas sized power. None of the 20 year old’s fights have gone the distance. All of Ortiz’ opponents, without exception, have succumbed to the fury of the man’s gloved fits. Not that Ortiz is always looking to call it an early night each and every time. “They just come when they come,” he says of the KOs. “If I could go the distance, that would be great.” In order for such a thing to happen, however, Ortiz will have to find the opponent who can withstand his power.
“My dad took me to the gym after school,” Ortiz says of his start in boxing. “They put me in to spar with no training.” The older Ortiz was himself a boxer, though “he never went pro.” The younger Ortiz, who has “two brothers and three sisters,” is carrying the family legacy into the professional ranks, however. And yes, boxing is still a family affair. “My dad’s been my coach, “says Ortiz. Legacy is an important thing to the fighter. “My ultimate goal is to be remembered in boxing,” he claims.
Asked who throughout history he’d have liked to fight, Ortiz gives the honors to the late Arturo Gatti. “For me he was the toughest of the tough,” he says. Other fighters the man admires are Sergio Martinez, the late Salvador Sanchez, and the Golden Boy himself, Oscar De la Hoya. One Vasyl Lomachenko also earns a great deal of the man’s respect. “There’s a reason why he’s undefeated,” Ortiz says of the Ukrainian, stating that right now, the man called Loma “is the best fighter” out there. Like Lomachenko, Ortiz started as an amateur standout.
“It was good,” he says of his apprentice years. “I won seven national titles…most of my losses came when I was little.” It was during one particular tournament that Ortiz caught the eye of a company owned by one of his favorite fighters, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy. In truth, the promotional outfit was also interested in another fighter, but when the two rising stars faced off, it was Ortiz who emerged victorious. “I knocked that guy out in about thirty seconds,” he says. Since signing with the famed company, Ortiz has found himself in places like Vegas and even AT&T Stadium, near his home.
“It was pretty cool,” he says of that particular experience, adding that friends and family were on hand live at the stadium to see him knock out Ernesto Hernandez. In fact, Ortiz is finding himself becoming a known commodity. “I get it a lot,” he says of public recognition, “especially in my hometown.” Good things happen when one has strong backing. “I fought on ESPN five times already,” he claims. As for the immediate future, the burgeoning KO artist plans on being back in the ring soon.
Should he continue on his current path, Ortiz may well be able to add quite a bit more to that guitar collection of his.