By Jack Tiernan: Vergil Ortiz Jr. vs. Michael McKinson 12 round headliner welterweight clash on March 19th on DAZN will be taking place at the Galen Center on USC campus in Los Angeles, California.
After eight years of toiling away against obscure opposition in England, McKinson is being thrown into the deep end in this fight against Vergil, and it should be interesting to see how he fares against the talented American.
Dan Rafael is reporting the news of the location for the Ortiz Jr. vs. McKinson fight, which is an ideal place to take advantage of the 23-year-old Vergil’s massive fanbase in the Southern California area.
Ortiz (18-0, 18 KOs) is ranked #1 with the WBO and the unbeaten British fighter McKinson (21-0, 2 KOs) #4. The winner of the contest will be in an excellent spot to fight for the title against WBO 147-lb champion Terence Crawford.
Ortiz will be massive favorite
Vergil will be considered a massive favorite going into this contest, as he’s faced the better opposition than the 27-year-old McKinson, who goes by the nickname ‘The Problem.’
The difference in experience and punching power that Ortiz has going for him compared to McKinson is significant.
Although McKinson has excellent boxing skills and is as slippery as an eel inside the ring, he doesn’t have the power, hand speed or resume to be given a real shot at beating the heavy-handed Ortiz Jr.
McKinson’s best wins:
- Chris Kongo
- Przemyslaw Runowski
- Luis Alberto Vergon
- Martin Harkin
Those are obscure opposition and it’s pretty obvious that McKinson’s management has failed to put him in with quality guys during his eight-year professional career.
McKinson says Ortiz Jr. has shown flaws
“The level of opponents I’ve fought at, I’ve been too comfortable,” said Michael McKinson to Boxing Social. “Vergil is a couple of levels above that, but why not?
“If I’ve made it look too easy at the level I’ve been fighting at, I deserve to be at this level. I welcome this. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for me. I know I’ve got a mountain to climb, and I know it’s not going to be easy.
“I do really believe I can pull this off and shock the world doing it. Because he’s been in there with better fighters than I have,” said McKinson when asked why he feels that Vergil Ortiz is a couple of levels above the ones he’s been fighting at.
“Maurice Hooker and [Egidijus] Kavaliauskas, they’re better than who I’ve been [in with],” said McKinson. “The difference between me and Vergil is, yes, he’s competed at a higher level than I have, but he’s shown vulnerabilities. I haven’t.
“He’s shown flaws and I haven’t. He’s had to come through tougher tests than I have, I believe. Every test that I’ve been given, I’ve passed with flying colors,” McKinson said.
Ortiz Jr took some shots in his recent fights against Maurice Hooker and Egidijus Kavaliauskas, but those are top 10 level fighters. Hooker is a former WBO light welterweight champion with size and power. He’s the type of guy that is going to do damage with his power and size.
Two-time Olympian Kavaliauskas gave WBO 147-lb champion Terence Crawford a tough time in their fight in 2019 in a losing effort.
Michael predicting victory over Vergil Jr
McKinson’s record and how he’s looked against the best guys he’s fought as a professional make it difficult to foresee him lasting more than six rounds against Ortiz Jr.
This is such a huge step up for the 27-year-old McKinson with him being thrown to the wolves against Ortiz, and it doesn’t seem likely that he’s going to be able to pull off the win.
Unless McKinson runs the entire time, it’s going to be tough for him to live with a puncher like Ortiz for long on March 19th.
“‘This is going to be a hard fight for McKinson.’ Every fight where people have written me of,” McKinson continued.
“People have written me a lot of times in my career, but every time I’ve passed every test with flying colors with a smile on my face.
“I welcome this test. There are quite a few people that are backing me to pull off an upset, but everyone is entitled to their opinions. All the uneducated people that are saying, ‘Ortiz is going to walk through McKinson in three rounds,’ let them think that.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Opinions don’t matter, and I’ve proven that time and time again.
“He’s never fought anyone as confident as I am, and he’s never fought anyone with an O in general. I’m defending my O all the way across the world, and I’m defending it with pride. There’s no way I’m going to go to lose.
“I’m going to pull this off, I’m going to shock the world, and I’m going to get my credit. Everyone knows who Vergil Ortiz is. He’s very strong; he’s big. People say he hasn’t put a foot wrong. He’s Golden Boy’s golden boy,” McKinson said of Vergil jr.
McKinson says he’ll be a “Superstar”
The lack of punching power and hand speed for McKinson will make it difficult for him to defeat Ortiz because he doesn’t have anything to keep him off.
In McKinson’s fights with Chris Kongo and Przemyslaw Runowski, he was getting caught repeatedly by their shots. Those guys didn’t possess the power Vergil Jr does to hurt McKinson, which is why they ultimately lost.
“It’s not so much what he’s going to do well. It’s what I’m going to do well,” said McKinson on his plans on upsetting Vergil Jr. “I’m all sorts of problems for anyone in the world.
“I’ve been all sorts of problems for anyone in boxing, but for anyone in the world it may be that I’m going to turn up, and I’m going to be a better version of the problem than I ever have because I need to be.
“Listen, I’ve got a job to do. It’s people’s dream to go over to America. I think the Americans are going to love me. It’s going to be hostile at first. I’m going to have to win their love, but they’re going to love me, and I’m going to leave America with a lot more support than I entered.
“Like I said, opinions don’t matter,” said McKinson when told that Americans look at his low KO percentage and view that as a ‘form-guide’ for how he’s going to do against Vergil Ortiz Jr.
“When I fought Chris Kongo, I was in Gibraltar; I was looking at Twitter at all these well-known boxing experts in the UK, saying Kongo is going to knock me out. I didn’t let that get to me. I’m so mentally strong. Opinions don’t matter. I’ve proven that time and time again.
“There’s a lot of uneducated people on Twitter that go on about my knockout record, but I’ve also seen a lot of Americans that want to give their prediction on little pages and stuff that have actually researched me.
“It’s the people that have researched me and done their homework that are saying that it’s not a walk in the park for Ortiz. I’ve got Americans that are actually saying that now.
“Like I say, opinions don’t matter. I’m going to turn up, do my job and leave a superstar,” said a very confident McKinson.