Vergil Ortiz Jr reached 16-0 last night and maintained his 100% KO percentage in Indio, California. As ESPN dominated the return to boxing behind Bob Arum’s Top Rank promotions, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions returned with their first show in the COVID Era. This fight had a lot on the line with all things considered: the development of the very promising Ortiz, the survival of DAZN as a streaming app, and Golden Boy Promotions future in boxing.
Ortiz Jr: Virgil continued his impressive roll of knockout victories as he reached the unfamiliar seventh round for the first time in his four year career as a professional. The Dallas native is 22 years old and stands an impressive 5’10 for the welterweight division and is currently in the top 10 of the WBC, WBA, and WBO. Samuel Vargas who stood opposite to Ortiz is a 31 year old 10 year pro fighting out of Toronto, Canada of Colombian decent. Vargas has shared the ring with fellow champions Amir Khan, Luis Collazo, Danny Garcia and Errol Spence. Ortiz won every round on the 39 fight veteran and stopped him after an accumulation of punishment. Ortiz displayed phenomenal offensive skill throughout the bout as he pressured Vargas from bell to bell with ferocity. He impressed in round 3 landing right hand after right hand and staying on balance. His footwork reminded me of a young Ricky Hatton digging to the body and turning angles while remaining in range for the killing blow. His aggressive style reminds me a little of Victor Ortiz who had his moment in the sun with a victory over Andre Berto in an absolute war before sharing a ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr. In victory he called out former unified 140 lb champ and former WBC 147 lb champ Danny Garcia and former unified 147 lb champ Keith Thurman. I feel despite his young age and limited professional experience that he is a live dog for these guys right now. My only question at this point is for how long can he make 147.
GBP and DAZN: In the last two years De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions has begun to lose its grip among two of its biggest stars: Canelo Alvarez and Ryan Garcia. Both stars are at odds with the promotional company. It is reminiscent of how Oscar eventually outgrew Bob Arum at Top Rank as did Floyd Mayweather Jr. Both men transcended the sport and went on to promote themselves. Alvarez is the money man of the sport fight now and commands the same status as Floyd and Oscar did and it only appears the natural order of things for him to break away from GBP to do his own thing. Ryan Garcia in all of his youth and lack of professional experience is also beginning to cause a ruckus behind the scenes and is moving toward breaking away with Oscar and GBP. DAZN is also struggling as a streaming service. They pissed off fans by charging them throughout the COVID shutdown on live sports without providing interesting programming. Unfortunately, DAZN’s upcoming lineup of fights does not look promising either. The streaming service is also at odds with Alvarez as well whom they want to take a pay cut ahead of his proposed September 2020 bout on the app. With such inner conflict maybe Ortiz is the new way forward with both the promoter and the streaming service.