Boxing News - Latest Headlines

Vergil Ortiz Jr with tough test against Maurice Hooker on Mar.20th

Vergil Ortiz Jr

By Dan Ambrose: Vergil Ortiz Jr. (16-0, 16 KOs) and former WBO light-welterweight champion Maurice Hooker (27-1-3, 19 KO) will be fighting in a WBO 147-lb title eliminator in the main event on March 20th live on DAZN in Dallas, Texas.

The vacant WBO International 147-lb title will be up for grabs for the Ortiz – Hooker fight.

The fight will put the winner in a position to challenge WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford.

Ortiz Jr has all the advantages

The former WBO light-welterweight champion Hooker, 31, and Ortiz Jr both share one thing in common with them both coming from Texas. They also are sluggers, who look to end their fights early as possible. That’s what makes this fight an interesting one on paper, as it’s almost guaranteed to end by a knockout.

Ortiz’s size and youth advantage could be a problem for Hooker, who has struggled in the past when facing guys with power. Hooker was knocked out in the sixth round a year and a half ago by Jose Ramirez in a unification fight in July 2019.

That was the last time that Hooker fought a world-class level fighter and he didn’t look that great. Ramirez was too much for Hooker with his pressure style of fighting and he battered him until the match was halted. Vergil Ortiz Jr fights similarly to Ramirez, but he has power in both hands and better boxing skills.

Vergil Ortiz Jr

If Hooker wants to win this fight, he’s going to have to either land something early or use his height and reach to try and outbox Ortiz from the outside.

Hooker’s only chance of beating Ortiz Jr by knockout is to get to him early because if the fight goes more than six rounds, he’ll likely be too punch drunk to pull out the victory.

Hooker has also had problems against these fighters:

  • Darleys Perez
  • Abel Ramos
  • Tyrone Chatman

Vergil Oriz Jr = The best fighter in Golden Boy’s stable?

The 22-year-old Ortiz could be the best thing that Golden Boy Promotions has going for them in their stable of fighters. Ortiz is for real, and not someone just looking for a quick cash-out before retiring.

“On his rapid ascent from prospect to contender, Vergil has absolutely blown away everyone we have put in front of him, including a former world champion,” said his promoter Oscar De La Hoya.

“But with a win over Maurice Hooker, just one fight removed from a significant title reign, on March 20, Vergil can stamp his ticket to a world championship fight.”

Vergil Ortiz Jr

The Hooker fight won’t show what Ortiz’s potential is because he’s not a true welterweight, and he doesn’t have all the gears that the top 147-pounders possess. It would have been a better idea for Golden Boy to match Ortiz against a welterweight that would mimic Terence Crawford’s style.

Unfortunately, there’s no one in the division that fights like Crawford, but there still are better options for Ortiz than Hooker.  Daniyar Yeleussinov would be a good test for Ortiz Jr to get him ready for the like of Crawford.

Arslanbek Makhmudov makes U.S debut

In the co-feature bout, unbeaten heavyweight prospect Arslanbek Makhmudov (11-0, 11 KOs) will be fighting an opponent still to be determined. The 31-year-old Makhmudov has looked good since turning professional in 2017, but he’s been facing strictly limited opposition of little talent.

The 6’5″ Russian Makhmudov is fighting out of Canada, and he’s being brought along very slowly by his handlers. He has a nice jab, but it’s difficult to know if he has the talent to one day capture a world title.

The last six opponents for Makhmudov:

  • Dillon Carman – TKO 1
  • Samuel Peter – TKO 1
  • Julian Fernandez – TKO 3
  • Jonathan Rice – TKO 7
  • Avery Gibson – TKO 1
  • Jason Bergman – TKO 1

What Makhmudov’s record shows is that his promoters should have moved him up against better opposition a long time ago, as he’s been wasting his time fighting subpar fighters since turning pro in 2017.

It would be a good idea for Makhmudov’s handlers to start moving him up against world-level opposition soon. He’s older than IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, and yet he’s still facing second-tier fighters.




Related Boxing News:
Subscribe (Free!)

The views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Boxing News 24 or its affiliates.

Boxing News FB Boxing News Twitter Boxing News INstagram Boxing News 24 Youtuber Mail

Privacy Statement l Cookies Policy l Boxing Resources l Back To Top l Contact Us

Email
WhatsApp
Tweet
Share