Vergil Ortiz Jr. Salvages Golden Boy’s Week by Stopping Antonio Orozco in the Sixth Round
Golden Boy Promotions needs to recognize that Vergil Ortiz Jr. is their next big star. While they continue to coddle the Instafamous Ryan Garcia despite him publicly trashing them online, on Saturday 21-year-old Ortiz knocked out Antonio Orozco in the sixth round to move to 14-0 with 14 knockouts. Keep in mind, Orozco was a 29-fight veteran, whose only loss before this one was a decision to current WBO/WBC Super Lightweight Champion Jose Ramirez.
In front of his hometown Grand Prairie, Texas crowd, Ortiz dominated the first round, then struggled a bit in the middle of the fight. It looked like Orozco would be the first man to test Ortiz’s stamina, but, after seeing the start of the sixth round for the first time in his career, Ortiz stepped up the pressure and dropped Orozco with an uppercut. When Orozco got up, he was put back on the canvas twice more, until the referee called a halt to the fight.
Fighting at 147, it’s tough to see a 21-year-old competing with Errol Spence, Terence Crawford or Manny Pacquiao, but at the same time, if Ortiz can do this to a guy like Orozco anything but a title shot seems like a waste of time.
So, it will be interesting to see how Golden Boy handles Ortiz’s career. Canelo Alvarez fought Floyd Mayweather at 23, and while he lost, just being in the ring with Floyd propelled Alvarez into mainstream stardom. On the other hand, with only 43.5 thousand Instagram followers (compared to Ryan Garcia’s 3.1 million), it’s doubtful any world champion will be ringing up the Golden Boy offices looking for the young kid nobody knows about who’s knocking out everyone in his path.
Either way, with trouble brewing between Golden Boy and their two biggest stars, this weekend Vergil Ortiz Jr. provided them a possible escape plan, in the form of a future star with serious finishing power.
Robeisy Ramirez Dropped, Loses Shocking Professional Debut
With all due respect to Andy Ruiz, 2019’s biggest upset belongs to Adan Gonzales. Gonzales dropped two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez seconds into their fight, before ultimately winning a split, 40-35, 39-36, 37-38 decision in their four-round bout.
Keep in mind, this wasn’t Lomachenko facing Orlando Salido in his second ever professional bout. This was a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (with wins over some of the best there is to offer at featherweight, including Shakur Stevenson) facing a 4-2-2 fighter, that’s never beaten an opponent with a better record than 2-1.
What happened? Well, for whatever reason, Ramirez didn’t throw any punches. According to CompuBox, Ramirez was out-thrown by over 100 punches over the course of the bout, which is baffling considering the usual boxing pattern involves amateurs throwing hundreds of pitter-patter punches, as opposed to more seasoned professionals taking their time and setting traps.
Ramirez said he believed he won the fight, and his biggest defenders rattled off the list of hall of famers that lost their debut, including Bernard Hopkins. Still, that was a crazy loss, and a sign that professional boxing and amateur boxing may be further apart than the professional success of gold medal winners like Vasiliy Lomachenko, Andre Ward and Oleksandr Usyk had us believing they were.
Sosa KOs Rhodes, Targets Miguel Berchelt’s Belt
Speaking of Olympic Gold Medalists, after losing to Olympic Champions Vasiliy Lomachenko and Yuriorkis Gamboa in back to back fights, Jason Sosa has rattled off three straight victories, including a stoppage win this weekend over Haskell Rhodes. Sosa, the 31-year-old former pizza cook, dominated throughout. His body work slowed Rhodes, the former MMA fighter, early on in the fight. In the middle of the fight, Rhodes was dropped twice in the fifth (first off a huge lead left hook), then one final time in the sixth round, which led the referee to stop the fight.
Sosa wants to fight Miguel Berchelt for his WBC belt next. Whether that happens or not, you can’t say he didn’t’ step up and make the most of his main event opportunity, in the face of Carl Frampton’s sudden freak hand injury.
Negrete and Franco Fight to a Draw….Again
Oscar Negrete and Joshua Franco are destined to fight each other forever. After fighting their third bout in ten months, Negrete and Franco fought to their second draw (Franco won the second bout in a tight decision) on Saturday. This time, judges scored the bout 96-94 Negrete, 96-94 Franco, and 95-95.
So, they’re just going to fight again, right? Probably not. After the fight, Franco made it clear he didn’t want to fight Negrete again, and at this point both men are probably doing more harm, both in terms of their career and degrading skills from facing one style over and over, than good wasting an entire year against only each other.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Scores KO Victory in First Fight since Canelo Loss
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is once again trying to convince people he’s committed to training, living a championship level lifestyle and devoting himself entirely to boxing. Anyone who believes that, must not have been paying attention the first 10 times he said it. Still, this weekend he knocked out Colombia’s Evert Bravo (who had already been stopped nine times as a professional before this fight) with a left hook to the body in the first round. Chavez is going to have to do a lot more than that to convince people he’s no longer the slacker he’s been perceived to be, especially if the rumors of Chavez-Daniel Jacobs are true. Still, it was a nice win.
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