Vergil Ortiz Jr stops Egidijus Kavaliauskas in 8th round
By Dan Ambrose: In a great performance from Vergil Ortiz Jr (18-0, 18 KOs) on Saturday, he dropped the always tough Egidijus Kavaliauskas (22-2-1, 18 KOs) four times en route to knocking him out in the eighth round in their main event fight at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Vergil, 23, put ‘Mean Machine’ Kavaliauskas down in the third round with a right-left combination. The shot that dropped Kavaliauskas was more of a stiff jab that he never saw coming, as he’d been hit with a right hand a fraction of a second before.
In the 8th round, Ortiz Jr walked ‘Mean Machine’ Kavaliauskas down and hit him with a spearing jab to the body that put him down.
After that, Vergil Jr was like a shark smelling blood in the water, showing no respect for Kavaliuaskas’ punches, unloading on him with short shots on the inside to put him down for the second time in the round.
Vergil Jr hit ‘Mean Machine’ Kavaliauskas with a hard right hand to the head in the final knockdown. At this point, the referee Lawrence Cole stepped in and waved the fight off.
Although Kavaliauskas could have continued fighting, he would keep getting knocked down by Ortiz Jr, as he was both hurt and tired. More than anything, Kavaliauskas, 33, was tired, and he didn’t have anything left.
Perhaps the combination of being out of the ring for 11 months and rehydrating a ton of weight after weighing in at 146.6 lbs on Friday was too much for the Latvian fighter.
Vergil’s speed, powerful jab, and superior stamina were huge factors in his victory over Mean Machine tonight. He was able to land a lot of jabs that continually snapped his head back.
In the third round, Ortiz Jr hurt Kavaliauskas early with a body shot, and that was when he realized that he could be hurt downstairs. After the fight, Ortiz Jr revealed that he knew he could hurt Kavaliauskas in the third.
After the fight, Vergil expressed interest in challenging WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford next. He said he’d like to fight the unbeaten Crawford, and if not him, then IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.
However, Spence is recovering from eye surgery, and he may not be able to fight for the remainder of this year. If Spence does come back in 2021, it’ll almost surely be against Manny Pacquiao, provided the Filipino fighter wins his fight next Saturday night against WBA champion Yordenis Ugas.
The way Ortiz Jr fought tonight would be a big problem for Crawford, and he might stop him with his body punching and heavy hands. Crawford wouldn’t be able to throw his combinations the way he’s always done because of Ortiz’s power going for him.
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