Vergil Ortiz Jr. Set for March Clash Against Samuel Vargas
DAZN and Golden Boy continue to sharpen the skills of prospects in order to face boxing’s elite. Last week it was Ryan Garcia who showed what he can do. Now, it is the welterweight divisions turn.
It was announced that 21-year-old Vergil Ortiz Jr. will defend his WBA Gold Welterweight Title against veteran Samuel Vargas on March 28. The event will take place inside the The Forum in Inglewood, California.
“When people think of the future of the welterweight division, one name stands out, and that’s Vergil Ortiz Jr.,” said Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya. “Simply put, this kid is special. His talent, speed and power set him apart from any other fighter who is moving up the 147-pound rankings. Don’t miss another spectacular knockout performance at the Forum or live on DAZN!”
Becoming a professional in 2016, Ortiz (15-0) has quickly rose up the ranks. He won the vacant WBC-NABF Super-Lightweight Championship off of Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez in his ninth professional fight. He went 4-0 in 2019, beating Jesus A Valdez Barrayan, Mauricio Herrera, Antonio Orozco and Brad Solomon. His last fight, against Solomon in December, was won via TKO. All 15 of his wins have been won via some form of knockout.
Turning 22 a few days before the fight, Ortiz is hoping to make the best of another opportunity.
“I’m excited to be returning against Samuel Vargas,” said Ortiz. “He’s a tough fighter with a lot of experience, so I know that my talent and skills are going to be put to a tough test. I’m also happy to be fighting in Los Angeles at such a historic venue where many legends in the sport have fought. I love this city, and I love the people here, so I’m going to work very hard to perform to the best of my abilities on March 28.”
The 30-year-old Vargas is a true veteran of the sport, compared to Ortiz at least. A WBA-NABA Welterweight Champion, Vargas (31-5-2) has faced some of the best in boxing today. While he has lost to Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia and Amir Khan, he has managed to impress each time out. Vargas is coming off of a unanimous decision win over Silverio Ortiz back in June.
“Throughout my career, I have always taken the challenges that other fighters in the division don’t want, and that’s exactly what I’m doing again,” saidVargas. “Vergil Ortiz Jr. is one of the brightest young stars in boxing, but he hasn’t had to go through a war yet. I’ve shown that I’m willing to go through hell in that ring, so if Ortiz is everything he’s hyped up to be, he better be on point March 28 because I know I will.”
The co-main event of the DAZN-held card will be Pablo Cesar Cano defending the WBC International Silver Super-Lightweight Title against Michael Perez. Cano (33-7-1) is on a three-fight win streak, last beating Roberto Ortiz via TKO back in November. Perez (25-3-2) is coming off of a TKO-loss to Abdiel Ramirez back in December. He is 2-2- in his last four fights.
Other fights/athletes on the card include:
- Azat Hovhannisyan v. Jose Sanmartin for the vacant WBA Interim Super-Bantamweight Championship. Hovhannisyan (18-3) has 15 wins via KO and is on a four-fight win streak. Sanmartin (30-5-1) has 20 wins via KO and is also on a four-fight win streak.
- Rashidi Ellis will defend his WBA Continental Americas Welterweight Championship against Sergio Ortega. Ellis (22-0) has 14 wins via KO and won the title against Eddie Gomez via unanimous decision back in November. Ortega (21-2) is on a six-fight win streak and has 16 wins via KO.
- Seniesa Estrada will defend her WBA Interim Flyweight Title against an unnamed opponent. “Superbad” (18-0) has seven wins via KO and won the title after facing Marlen Esparza back in November.
- On a three-fight win streak, Christopher Pearson (17-2) will be in action.
- Raul Curiel (80) will look for his third win in a row via KO when he takes on 28-year-old Steve Villalobos (11-1), who is coming off of a loss against Blair Cobbs in August.
- Irish prospect Aaron McKenna (10-0) is looking for his sixth win via KO. He has won two of his last three fights by way of the power punch.
- Chris Ousley (12-0) will open up the card against Jarvis Williams (8-2-1), who is 1-2-1 in his last four fights.