Egidijus Kavaliauskas says Vergil Ortiz Jr. is ready for Terence Crawford
By Allan Fox: Egidijus Kavaliauskas says Vergil Ortiz Jr. is now ready to challenge Terence Crawford for his WBO welterweight title after beating him by an eighth round knockout last Saturday night at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Kavaliuskas (22-2-1, 18 KOs) says he thinks Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) should fight #1 WBO ranked Vergil (18-0, 18 KOs), as he believes he’s ready to take the challenge.
Ortiz, 23, did a better job than Crawford in dropping Kavaliaskas five times in the process of scoring a knockout in the eighth round. Four of the knockdowns came in the 8th round, as Vergil Jr went all out to get tired and hurt 33-year-old ‘Mean Machine Egidijus out of there.
“Yeah, I think he’s ready. I think he’s ready for that fight, and I think Terence Crawford should fight him,” said Egidijus Kavaliauskas to All Access Elite Boxing when asked if Vergil Jr. is ready to challenge Crawford.
Crawford, 33, would probably fight Ortiz Jr if it were up to him, but the World Boxing Organization has already ordered him to defend against #2 WBO Shawn Porter next. That fight is reportedly heading to a purse bid if a deal isn’t done by this Friday.
If Crawford defeats Porter, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is likely to match Bud against undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor. That’s a fight that Arum wants to make.
Jose Zepeda, David Avanesyan, and Jose Ramirez are other fighters that Top Rank will likely prefer to match against Crawford than Vergil, who isn’t signed with them.
Vergil is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, which likely means that Crawford won’t fight him until the WBO orders it.
The earliest that we can hope to see that happen is late 2022, but more likely 2023 if Crawford doesn’t get beat in the meantime.
“I think the last round [8th] was his round, and he was landing really powerful shots,” ‘Mean Machine’ Kavaliauskas said.
“All those shots he was putting together, they were just hurting me. I was on the ground, and I got up like everything was good, so I’m healthy. Everything is fine,” said Kavaliauskas.
It looked like Vergil Jr hurt Kavaliauskas with a jab to the body in the eighth round to get the ball rolling, and it downhill for the two-time Olympian from Latvian after that. Kavaliauskas couldn’t get it together to recover from that knockdown.
“All the top guys, I can fight them all,” said Kavaliauskas about wanting to take on the top 147-pounders.
“I’m going to talk to my manager to see which fights we can get because I’m open for everybody,” said Kavaliauskas on what he needs to do for him to continue getting big fights.
“I’m very appreciative of those Frisco fans and everyone that came to the arena. Thank you very much,” said Kavaliauskas.
This is a fight that Kavaliauskas could have won if he’d landed some of the big shots that he was missing Ortiz Jr with in the second round after he hurt him with a big uppercut.
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