Vergil Ortiz Jr. Wants Crawford, Danny Garcia, Thurman or Porter next
By Aragon Garcia: Undefeated highly ranked welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz Jr says he’s ready to take on Terence Crawford, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, or Danny Garcia.
Only 22-years-old, #2 WBO, #5 WBC Ortiz Jr (16-0, 16 KOs) wants to take on the best there is at 147.
WBO welterweight champion Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) made the Golden Boy promoted Ortiz’s list after the way he showed vulnerability in his victory over 34-year-old former IBF champion Kell Brook last month in November.
Ortiz said he still wanted to fight Crawford even before his recent fight with Brook, but now he sees that he can be hit, making him even more eager to take the fight.
Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank is likely to resist putting a fight together with the young Vergil Ortiz Jr because he’s not well known enough for the match to be worthwhile.
Golden Boy star is a threat to the aging 147-pounders
The guys that Vergil Ortiz is gunning for in Porter, Crawford, Garcia, and Thurman are all aging rapidly, and they’re going to be food for him soon.
While it’s probably not realistic for Ortiz to get a fight against any of those names in the next year, he’ll be in a position to fight for a world title by 2022.
It’s not probable that the World Boxing Organization will order a Terence Crawford to defend against Ortiz Jr in 2021, and you can forget about Thurman, Danny Garcia, and Porter wanting any pat of Ortiz in a title eliminator.
Porter is already the WBC/WBO mandatory for Spence and Crawford, so he’s not going to put his neck on the line fighting a dangerous puncher like Ortiz Jr.
Crawford is racing to try and get a big fight before he ages out, which is starting to happen as we’re seeing.
In Crawford’s fights against Kell Brook, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, and Amir Khan, he was getting hit. He looked nothing like the fighter that commentator Max Kellerman is continually praising as the best welterweight.
The Crawford that we see now would be a huge risk in taking on a young lion like Ortiz, and it could be a mistake if he takes that fight.
If Crawford will face Ortiz, he needs to do it now because if he waits a year or two before he does fight, it could end badly for the Nebraska native.
Ortiz Jr is on the doorstep for a title shot
With Ortiz’s #2 ranking with the World Boxing Organization, he’ll get his chance soon to fight Terence. Ortiz isn’t one of the guys that the aging 33-year-old Crawford is targeting.
Terence wants to fight Manny Pacquiao or Errol Spence Jr, but neither of those fights is likely to happen while he’s still signed with Top Rank.
Crawford has been targeting a fight against Pacquiao for years, and it seems a little pointless for him to be still pining away for that fight after all this time.
For Terence’s promoter Bob Arum to make money with him while still under contract with Top Rank, he needs to match him against a household name, and preferably a star.
Pacquiao or Spence are the ones that he’s hoping to match against Crawford before his contract expires next October. Ortiz is just an upstart, and he could be more trouble than he’s worth at this point.
Ortiz is coming off of a seventh-round knockout of fringe contender Samuel Vargas last summer on July 24th in the biggest victory of his four-year pro career.
Vergil Ortiz Jr targeting top 147-pounders
“I’m beating all my opponents, and I feel like I could beat better opponents, and everybody thinks I can only take out people that have lost already,” said Vergil Ortiz Jr to the AK & Barak Show.
Besides Sammy Vargas, my last three opponents hadn’t been stopped by anyone. Sammy Vargas had only been stopped by Danny Garcia and Errol Spence. Those are two of the hardest hitters in the welterweight division.
“I just feel like I’ve grown as a fighter, and I feel like I’m smarter, faster, and stronger,” Ortiz Jr said when asked why he believes he’s ready for Crawford. “My confidence goes up as well, and I feel like as time passes on, I’m starting to feel like I belong with those names.
I just need that fight to prove to everyone else that I belong up there. I want Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, or Porter next. If I had to choose, they would be next, but if they give me the Crawford fight next, I’m not going to turn down the opportunity.
“I would definitely take that fight because of the position I’m in, I need those big fights. I’m not in the position to say, ‘No, I don’t want to fight.’ No, I want the fight. I want those big fights,” said Ortiz.
It’s improbable that Ortiz Jr will get a fight against any of the top welterweights on his list. Right off the bat, you can rule out Ortiz getting a fight against Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, or Crawford, Those match-ups are not going to happen.
Thurman is having weight and hand problems that has put a crimp on his activity level since 2017, and he’s mainly trying hard to get a rematch with Pacquiao after losing to him in 2017.
If Thurman fought anyone in 2021, it would be someone like Danny Garcia or Porter. Those guys are old lions now, and they’re looking to target the top dogs Spence and Pacquiao.
Danny just lost to Spence, so he’s got to get a rebuilding fight in before he gets another title shot. He won’t want to fight Ortiz.
Ortiz feels ready for Crawford
“I was saying before that fight,” Ortiz Jr said when asked if there was something he saw from the Crawford vs. Kell Brook fight that makes him with to fight Terence now.
“That fight even gave me a little confidence boost that he’s not completely untouchable like everyone thinks he is.
“As I said before that, I feel like I can give anyone in the welterweight division a tough fight, and I feel like I can win a lot of those fights as well.
“Technically wise, definitely Crawford,” said Ortiz Jr when asked who is the tougher fight for him between Errol Spence Jr and Crawford.
“I think straight-up labor, Errol would be the overall tougher fight. They’re hard in their own aspects basically,” said Ortiz Jr in giving a diplomatic answer.
Vergil’s heavy hands would make him a real threat to Crawford if that fight happened, as he’s getting hit more and his faced swelling up quickly after just three rounds against Kell Brook.
Terence got lucky and scored a fourth-round knockout of Brook when he nailed with a jab and hurt him. Some boxing fans believe that Brook’s punch resistance was impacted by his ordeal draining down to fight at 147, a weight class he hadn’t competed at since his knockout loss to Spence in 2017.
If Ortiz could stay in there with Crawford for more than six rounds, he would have a perfect chance of busting him up and knocking him out. Crawford isn’t used to being hit because he’s faced largely fringe level opposition throughout his career.
Even when Crawford has fought world champions and former world champs like Ricky Burns and Yuriorkis Gamboa, he did it when they were no longer in their prime.
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