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Vergil Ortiz Jr. takes on Samuel Varquez on 7/24

Vergil Ortiz Jr

By Allan Fox: In a showcase fight on July 24 on DAZN, Vergil Ortiz Jr will be displaying his firepower against journeyman Samuel Vargas in a 12 round scheduled contest at the Fantasy Springs Casino Resort in Indio, California. Vergil will have his WBA Gold 147-lb title on the line for the Vargas fight.

Ortiz and Vargas were initially scheduled to battle on March 28 but had to be postponed. A lot of fans were grumbling on this being a bad fight, so there wasn’t complaining much when it was postponed.

Vargas just lost recently to 39-year-old Luis Collazo last year in March. When you look at Vargas losing to an old fighter in Collazo, it takes the shine away from Vergil fighting him. But the casual boxing fans won’t know that Vargas has been struggling, and they’ll be eager to see Ortiz fight him.

Vergil Ortiz Jr

Vergil Ortiz fighting behind closed doors

The Ortiz vs. Vargas card will be held without fans present due to the pandemic.

This is one of three title belts the World Boxing Association has in circulation at welterweight at this time. The other two champions are Manny Pacquiao [WBA Super World] and Alexander Besputin [WBA World]. Besputin is about to be stripped of his title due to a failed test.

Vargas (31-5-2, 14 KOs) has a 2-2-1 record in his last five fights, and his victories have come against little known Silverio Ortiz and Gabriel Adrian Pereiro.

It’s not the most significant fight that Ortiz’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions could have put him in, but it’s a decent stay-busy match-up.

This fight isn’t the result of the pandemic. Golden Boy has been planning the Ortiz Jr vs. Vargas bout for some time, and now they get a chance to make it happen.

It would be an exciting match if Vargas weren’t beaten in the past already by Amir Khan, Luis Collazo, Pablo Munguia, Danny Garcia, and Errol Spence. Vargas’ losses to Khan and Collazo came fairly recently, and that kind of tells you the level of opponent he is.

Ortiz facing another veteran

This fight is a lateral move for Vergil Ortiz against the 31-year-old Vargas from his  Antonio Orozco and Brad Solomon. Like with Ryan Garcia, olden Boy Promotions are taking their sweet time in waiting before they eventually start stepping the 22-year-old Vergil up against world level opposition at 147.

They’ve been matching against older guys whose careers have imploded due to advancing age and ring wear. It would be nice if Golden Boy threw Vergil in with a live body like Danny Garcia, Yordenis Ugas, Shawn Porter, David Avanesyan, or Keith Thurman to see how he does.

Vergil Ortiz Jr

You can understand why Golden Boy is holding off in putting Ortiz Jr in with quality guys. At his age, he’ll be in an excellent position to take over when the top guys all get old. Ortiz can move in and take over at that point.

“We’re just excited, happy to be back with our fighters,” said Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez to ESPN.com. “Especially a guy like Vergil who was scheduled to fight before the shutdown.”

What Vargas has going for him is he’s been in with a lot of notable opponents, and he’s looked OK in portions of those fights. The unfortunate part is, Vargas has lost to all the good fighters he’s faced.

No word when Golden Boy will step Ortiz up

That’s the negative part. Having a lot of experience is helpful if you’re using it to win fights against good opposition, but it’s a bad deal when you lose all the time when you step up like Vargas.

Vargas’ best career wins have come against these fighters:

  • Jussi Koivula
  • Ali Funeka
  • Marco Antonio Avendano
  • Giuseppe Lauri

Funeka is a former world champion, but he was old and way past his prime by the time Vargas fought him. Lauri was an excellent fighter years ago, but he hasn’t done anything in a long time.

Golden Boy isn’t saying when they plan on putting Ortiz in with quality opposition. He does have power, and he likes to walk guys down. He would do well against a lot of the top fighters in the welterweight division. The fact that he’s being held back by Golden Boy suggests that they’re going to wait a while longer.

Ortiz-Vargas could end suddenly

Vargas doesn’t have a much of a chance of beating Vergil Ortiz Jr unless he unloads on him in the first two rounds before he starts landing his own big shots. If Vargas lets Ortiz get untracked with his offense, this fight won’t last long. Ortiz hits too hard, and he’s good at taking out his opponents fast when they lack power.

In the chief support on the card, lightweight fringe contender Hector Tanajara (19-0, 5 KOs) faces Mercito Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KOs) in a 10 round bout. It’s believed that Tanajara and Gesta were both previously being considered as opponents for lightweight Ryan Garcia for July 4, but he turned down the offer from Golden Boy.

In other fights on the Ortiz Jr vs. Vargas card:

  • Shane Mosley Jr. (15-3, 9 KOs) and Jeremy Ramos (11-8, 2 KOs)
  • Seniesa Estrada (18-0, 7 KOs) vs. Jacky Calvo (12-5-2, 1 KO)
  • Hector Valdez vs. Evan Sanchez.

The undercard is kind of skeletal as one would expect for a fight behind closed doors, but hopefully, the main event makes up for that.


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The views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of BoxingNews24 or its affiliates.

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