Rising undefeated Welterweight prospect Vergil Ortiz scored an impressive sixth round stoppage over veteran contender Antonio Orozco on Saturday night at The Theatre at Grand Prairie in Grand Prairie, TX. Returning to the site where he graduated high school before a enthusiastic home town crowd, it appeared that Ortiz would have some difficulty against the veteran of twenty-nine fights Orozco, who was moving up in weight to the 147lb. Welterweight division after previously competing in the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division.
Despite being the smaller man, the determined Orozco brought the fight to Ortiz from the start by being willing to engage with Ortiz, a man who had knocked out every previous opponent in his career prior to this fight. Orozco should that he could deal with Ortiz’ power early on and withstood an early barrage from him in the first round when Ortiz had him pressed against the ropes.
As the fight went on, Orozco began to have his moments by coming forward and looking to apply pressure on Ortiz. What was impressive about Orozco’s approach in this fight was he attempted to stay low by crouching and using his head movement as he came forward. This allowed him to do some effective work to the body of Ortiz and also avoid some of the offense that Ortiz through back, particularly during moments where Orozco was able to get Ortiz against the ropes.
Orozco however, was unable to keep Ortiz against the ropes for consistent periods of time and was more than willing to engage with him in the center of the ring where it was not to his advantage in this observer’s eyes. This was clearly the first time that the twenty-one year old Ortiz had faced significant resistance in his career thus far in facing the more experienced thirty-one year old Orozco.
In round six, the unbeaten Ortiz was able to break through that resistance and drop Orozco with a left uppercut that forced Orozco to take a knee. Orozco was able to beat the count, but it became academic as Ortiz pressed forward with a barrage of punches that sent Orozco down for a second time. As he did following the first knockdown, Orozco was able to get up once more, but had the body language of a fighter who was overwhelmed by the attack Ortiz was administering. The punishment continued until Ortiz landed a left hook to the jaw that sent Orozco down for a third and final time as the bout was stopped by Referee Mark Calo-oy at 2:16 of round six.
Vergil Ortiz advances to 14-0, with 14 Knockouts. Antonio Orozco falls to 28-2, with 17 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
In a rubber match for the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Bantamweight championship, champion Joshua Franco retained his title by fighting to a hard-fought ten round split decision draw with rival Oscar Negrete. This was the third consecutive meeting between the two fighters with a draw being rendered in the first fight, Franco earning a split decision win in their second encounter followed by a second draw in the series between the two being declared in this fight. Like the previous two encounters between the two men, this fight saw the ebb and flow go back and forth between the two where exchanges were frequent and neither fighter was really able to stand out clearly from the other in what was an entertaining ten round bout. Joshua Franco advances to 15-1-2, with 7 Knockouts. Oscar Negrete advances to 18-2-2, with 7 Knockouts.
In a battle for the United States Boxing Council (USNBC) Lightweight championship, undefeated Hector Tanajara scored an impressive ten round unanimous decision over Ezequiel Aviles. Tanajara dominated the fight from start to finish and never allowed Aviles to work his way into the fight by working off his jab, controlling distance, and mixing in uppercuts and right hands. All three judges scored the fight 100-90 for Tanajara. Hector Tanajara advances to 18-0, with 5 Knockouts. Ezequiel Aviles falls to 16-4-3, with 6 Knockouts.
In the Jr. Welterweight division Marcelino Lopez scored a devastating fifth round knockout over Daniel Echeverria. The first three rounds of this fight were largely controlled by Echevarria due to his ability ti control the distance of the combat as well as working behind a consistent jab. This all changed in round four when Lopez landed a flush right hook to the jaw of Echeverria. Despite going down hard, Echevarria was able to get up. Lopez scored a second knockdown of Echeverria later in the round, but Echeverria was again able to get up and contended that the punch that dropped him, a left hook landed on the back of his head. Just as Echeverria appeared as though he was getting his legs back under him in the fifth round, Lopez ended the night by dropping him for a third and final time with a flush left hook to the jaw. This time, Echeverria was unable to beat the count. Official time of the stoppage was 2:59 of round five. Marcelino Lopez advances to 36-2-1, with 21 Knockouts. Daniel Echevarria falls to 21-9, with 18 Knockouts.
Undefeated Jr. Middleweight Travall Mazon scored an eight round unanimous decision over Jeremy Ramos. Mazon landed a left hook that landed on the temple of Ramos and sent him down to the canvas. Despite being dropped early, Ramos hung in there and was very “Game “ all the way through. Official scores were 80-72 (On two scorecards) and 79-73 all in favor of Mazon. Travall Mazon advances to 15-0, with 12 Knockouts. Jeremy Ramos falls to 11-7, with 4 Knockouts.
Also in the Jr. Middleweight division, unbeaten prospect Alex Rincon scored a second round knockout over Joel Guevara. A flush right hook to the head sent Guevara down at :58 of round two. Alex Rincon advances to 7-0, with 6 Knockouts. Joel Guevara falls to 4-6-1, with 3 Knockouts.
Undefeated Jr. Welterweight George Rincon scored a second round knockout over Enrique Escobar. Official time was 2:13 of round two. George Rincon advances to 8-0, with 5 Knockouts. Enrique Escobar falls to 17-7, with 14 Knockouts.
In the Light-Heavyweight division, undefeated prospect Joshua Juarez scored a six round unanimous decision over Emmanuel Sanchez. Official scores were 59-55, 58-56, and 60-54. Joshua Juarez advances to 9-0, with 4 Knockouts. Emmanuel Sanchez falls to 7-14-1, with 1 Knockout.
Undefeated the Jr. Featherweight Hector Valdez scored a six round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Rafael Delgado. Official scores were 59-54, and 58-55 (On two scorecards) in favor of Valdez. Hector Valdez advances to 11-0, with 7 Knockouts. Rafael Delgado falls to 6-1, with 5 Knockouts.
In the opening bout of this card seventeen year old Tristan Kallkreuth made his professional debut in the Cruiserweight division and only needed forty-two seconds to stop Kynndale Prather, who was competing in his second professional fight.
Tristan Kallkreuth advances to 1-0, with 1 Knockout. Kynndale Prather falls to 0-2, with 0 Knockouts.
This card provided a look at some of the up and coming talent in promoter Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions stable. Golden Boy Promotions has in it’s near two decade history developed a reputation for developing young fighters who go on to become stars in the sport of Boxing, much like De La Hoya was during his illustrious career as a fighter.
The interesting question coming out of this card will be whether or not Vergil Ortiz at now 14-0, with all 14 of his wins coming by knockout is ready to step up in the caliber of his opposition to face fighters in the 147lb. Welterweight division that are viewed as top contenders if not the elite of the division. It can be tempting when a fighter has knocked out all their opposition up to this point to say their ready for such a significant step up.
In this case it is important to keep in mind that Ortiz is only twenty-one years old and to also keep in mind what has happened in the past with some fighters who were at a similar point in their respective careers as Ortiz is currently, who ended up being pushed too quickly into fights against the upper echelon of a weight class before they were ready for such a significant step up. While some fighters have fared better than others when they have stepped up at a similar stage as Ortiz, it is something that should be approached on an individual basis.
What yours truly means by that is simply what may have worked for one fighter at a similar stage, may not necessarily work for another fighter. Although this observer has spent most of his life covering Boxing and by extension other combat sports, I have never been involved in a fighter’s development and or camp. Having said this, I have always tended to favor a gradual progression process for fighters to work their way through the ranks and continue to develop their skills before attempting to position said fighter for a potential opportunity to fight for a world championship.
Having faced significant resistance for the first time against a world-class fighter in Antonio Orozco, a fighter that had never been stopped, who’s only previous loss prior to this fight came against current unified Jr. Welterweight world champion Jose Ramirez, and still scoring an impressive knockout victory, Vergil Ortiz just may be ready to face someone who is ranked at or near the top-ten in the Welterweight division. Who Ortiz, who is currently ranked number ten by the World Boxing Association (WBA) will fight next remains to be seen, but if he can continue progressing, it may not be long before he is fighting for a world championship.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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