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Vergil Ortiz Jr calls out Terence Crawford after stopping Maurice Hooker

Terence Crawford Vergil Ortiz Jr

By Aragon Garcia: A star was born on Saturday night with Vergil Ortiz Jr beating Maurice Hooker and then calling out Terence Crawford while in the ring, letting him know that he wants him next whether he’s ready or not.

Tonight was Vergil’s official coming-out party with his seventh-round knockout of the former WBO light welterweight champion Hooker (27-2-3, 18 KOs) in front of a large crowd at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

Ortiz (17-0, 17 KOs) had the fans screaming when he knocked Hooker down in the sixth round with a right and then put him down for the second time in the seventh.

There was no coming back from that knockdown, as Hooker wanted no more. Mighty Mo said he hurt his right arm, but he was already falling apart well before that.

Let’s tell it like it is. The writing was on the wall from the fifth round that the 31-year-old Hooker wasn’t going to last much longer.

Hooker was hurt by a body shot from Vergil in the 5th, which led to an avalanche of Ortiz’s punches.

In my estimation, Hooker probably took a career’s worth of abuse from Ortiz from the fifth round, and he looked like an old car with too many miles on him at the end.

Vergil Ortiz calls out Crawford

“It just so happens that three pieces of the welterweight title are in the building tonight with Errol Spence and Terence Crawford, both at ringside; what do you have to say to them?” said Mannix.

“I don’t have anything to say; I do my talking in the ring,” said Vergil when asked what he has to say to Spence and Crawford. “I am technically in the ring right now. You know what I mean, alright?”

“For a guy like Terence Crawford, who doesn’t have a fight booked next, would you like that to be your next fight?” said Mannix to Vergil.

“I would love the opportunity,” said Vergil about a title shot against Crawford. “If I get an opportunity from anyone, Crawford is possibly the #1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world. He’s definitely top two. If they give me the opportunity, I’m looking at you, Bud. I’m looking at you. If you want to make the fight, I’m more than willing to do it,” said Vergil.

“Do you believe at 22-years-old that you’re ready for Terence Crawford?” said Mannix to Ortiz.

“I don’t care if I’m ready or not; I want that fight,” said Vergil about him wanting to fight Terence now.

It’s up to Crawford if he wants to avenge his gym-mate and friend Hooker’s loss. If Crawford wants to try and set things right, he can give Vergil a title shot if he’s confident enough to take the fight.

No one will blame Terence if he wants no part of Ortiz. But I know he wants to kick a**, and here’s his opportunity.

Hooker proved to be durable

“I wanted to thank him for giving me this opportunity,” said Vergil Ortiz Jr when interviewed by DAZN moments after his knockout victory over Hooker.

“I wanted the fight at 140, and I felt that I could beat him. You know what? He didn’t have to take this fight. I’m not trying to give myself a big head, and I feel like I’m a problem at 147.

“He didn’t have to take this fight. It’s his first 147 fight. I give him props. I felt like I did pretty good. There’s always room for improvement, and I felt I could have done many things better. Overall, I felt I did okay.

“This was a knockout win for you, but this was a tough fight; you can see by the markings on your face,” said Chris Mannix of DAZN to Vergil Ortiz. “What was Maurice Hooker showing you early?”

“He was showing me he was durable; he can definitely take a punch; he really can,” said Ortiz about Hooker. “He was smart; he was trying to get around my guard. I just knew what to do,” said Vergil.

You’ve got to give Hooker big respect for being durable in taking all those headshots from Ortiz Jr.

I don’t know of anyone else in the 147-lb division that could have taken those same punches without going down for the count, and that includes Crawford and Spence.

Vergil switched game plans

“What was the game plan coming in?” asked Mannix.

“The game plan coming in was to just slow him down because I knew he was going to want box, he wouldn’t want me to stay inside,” said Ortiz Jr. “I just neutralized him.”

“You wound up finishing the fight [in the seventh], but during the fight, you were landing a lot of power punches,” said Mannix about Vergil landing a lot. “Was there a part of you thinking, ‘I might have to go the distance?”

“Honestly, yeah, I did think I was going to go the distance at some point in the fight,” said Ortiz Jr. “To be honest, the headshots weren’t hurting him at. He could take a punch, I’m not going to lie. I knew it wasn’t going to be to the head, and that’s when I started investing in the body,” said Vergil.

“You have said that ever since the Mauricio Herrera fight, you have gained more confidence. What does a win like this do for you?” said Mannix.

“It definitely gives me more confidence that I believe in myself more that I’m ready for a title shot,” Said Ortiz Jr. “Whoever is willing to give me the opportunity.

“I’m very respectful; I’m not going to call anyone a bum. I’m not like that at all. I respect every fighter that comes into this ring,” said Vergil.

Ortiz’s decision to switch game plans in the fifth is what did it for him against Mighty Mo. The outcome was still in doubt until the fifth, but when Vergil started throwing body shots, Hooker wilted almost immediately.

Could Crawford handle those body shots that Ortiz was landing tonight? I’d say probably not, but there’s only one way to find out. If Crawford wants to test the young lion, Vergil Ortiz here’s his opportunity.

Terence doesn’t have a fight scheduled yet, and he’s kidding himself if he thinks he’s going to get the Manny Pacquiao or Errol Spence fight.




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