Making his debut at middleweight in a 156-lb catchweight, Vergil Ortiz Jr. (20-0, 20 KOs) did his part, unloading on an overmatched Fredick Lawson (30-4, 22 KOs) to win a first round knockout on Saturday night at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Ortiz looked a little bigger and slower than he had while campaigning at 147, but his power seemed improved as he hurt Lawson with a stiff jab that buckled his knees.
Lawson backed up against the ropes, where Ortiz unloaded on him with a barrage of punches, causing referee Tony Weeks to step in and stop the fight. The time of the stoppage was at 2:33.
The crowd was not happy with the fight being stopped so quickly, and they let the referee Weeks know about it, booing throughout the post-fight interview by Ortiz Jr.
The live boxing results of tonight’s card will be shown below starting at 8:00 p.m. ET.
– Ismael Barroso (25-4-2, 23 KOs) massacred the hapless Ohara Davies (25-3, 18 KOs), knocking him down twice en route to a first round knockout to win the WBA interim light welterweight title.
The 31-year-old British fighter Davies came out, holding his left arm far in front of him, trying to keep the heavy-handed Barroso from landing his shots.
In the first 30 seconds, Barroso tagged Davies with a straight left in a letter of intent. Moments later, Barroso clocked Davies with a left to the head that took his legs away, causing him to fall back to the ropes.
Barroso was on him right away, and landed a thudding left to the head that toppled Davies to the canvas. While Davies was falling, Barroso tagged him with another hard punch for good measure, just in case.
Davies got up from the canvas, looking badly hurt. Barroso then tore into the stricken fighter, connecting with four solid blows that dropped Davies for the second time.
Referee Celestino Ruiz then stopped the fight after taking a hard look into Davies’ eyes after he got up. The time of the stoppage was at 1:53 of round one.
– Light welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. (29-0, 11 KOs) looked impressive tonight, scoring an eighth round stoppage win over Xolisani Ndongeni (31-4, 18 KOs) in the eighth round. #1 WBO Barboza Jr. had Ndongeni hurt in rounds five, six, seven and eight.
Finally, referee Raul Caiz Jr. decided he’d seen enough and waved it off at the end of the eighth round after watching Ndongeni walk back to his corner, looking in bad shape. The time of the stoppage was 3:00.
Ndongeni was landing shots in every round, but he didn’t posses the size or the power to hurt Barboza Jr. The power wasn’t there for Ndongeni, and he couldn’t stand in there and trade with the bigger, stronger fighter.
The way that Barboza Jr. looked in this fight, you can tell why Teofimo Lopez wants nothing to do with him, because he’s got talent, and it would be a real problem for him. Barboza Jr. might be Golden Boy’s best fighter at 140, better than Ryan Garcia and Ohara Davies.
– Welterweight Raul Curiel (14-0, 12 KOs) used heavy pressure to work over and halt Elias Diaz (12-2, 7 KOs) in the eighth round. Diaz’s left eye was badly swollen and cut, which caused the fight to be stopped. The time of the stoppage was at 1:06 of the eighth. In the fifth, Curiel knocked Diaz down with a hard counter shot.
Fans will tune in tonight on DAZN to see if former welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz Jr. will be the same fighter he once was when he faces Fredrick Lawson at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas. Ortiz (19-0, 19 KOs) has been dealing with rhabdomyolysis from draining down to compete in a division that he was too big for at 147 and multiple COVID cases.
Ortiz Jr. (19-0, 19 KOs) will show the fans tonight if he’s the dominant force that he was or if his health problems and move up in weight have reduced him to just an average fighter.
This will be Ortiz’s first fight at junior middleweight or should I say, middleweight, since it’s a catchweight contest at 156.
Tonight’s card on DAZN
- Vergil Ortiz Jr vs. Fredrick Lawson
- Ohara Davies vs. Ismael Barroso
- Arnold Barboza Jr vs. Xolisani Ndongeni
- Raul Curiel vs. Elias Diaz
Will Vergil Ortiz Jr. be the same?
“I’m very high on Vergil Ortiz, and I have been for a long time. I love his style and the way he fights. I love combination punchers. We don’t see a lot of them nowadays,” said Chris Algieri to ProBox TV, talking about Vergil Ortiz Jr’s ring return tonight against Fredrick Lawson.
“He is a two-fisted, destructive combination puncher with power. 19-0 with a 100% KO rating. I’m not going to mince words here. Vergil Ortiz is big, way too big for 147, as we’ve learned. So, he was cutting a lot of weight to make that last year [and the year before].
“Even at 154, he’s going to be too big. I’m surprised that he’s coming back as long as he is. I think the catchweight is 156. I was expecting him to come in at 160 and then wittle his way back down because he’s a big guy.
“He’s 5’10” with a 71-inch reach. He has a lot of muscle on him. He’s a big guy. That condition [Rhabdo] could have been exacerbated by fighting in a weight class that he didn’t belong in anymore.
“If he’s healthy, I’m going to expect him to be dominant and destructive and score another knockout and keep his record perfect,” said Algieri about Vergil Ortiz. “If he’s still dealing with these health issues, Rhabdo and any past residual from that, it could be a very telling fight.
“He looked like a guy that was cutting weight. Even if he moved to 160, he’d be cutting weight,” Algieri said about Vergil Ortiz Jr. “He probably walks around close to the 170 mark. So he’s still going to have to cutting weight at 154 or 156, and he looked like that at the press conference.
“I do know that a lot of Mexican fighters do pull a lot of water before the fight and the morning of. The first fight isn’t on Saturday night. The first fight [for Ortiz Jr.] is that scale. We’re at a catchweight, so there was some concerns with the camps if they could get down all the way down to 154. Remember, he’s coming all the way from 147.
“I’ve been in the gym with Lawson. He has two chances in this fight or two options in this fight. He can go right at Ortiz and try and test him if he had trouble with the weight and still had trouble with the Rhabdo and his health issues and try and catch him early.
Lawson’s best chance of victory
“The problem with that is, live by the sword, die by the sword. There’s a better chance that he gets knocked out early, or he can stink it out and hope that Ortiz fades later on based on the weight and the health issues.
“Listen, if you match him up healthy vs. healthy, the guy has no shot, but ultimately, I don’t think it matters either way. I just think Ortiz is on a different level. Like I said, I’ve been in the gym with Lawson. You mentioned those three stoppage losses [for Lawson], and I believe those were all at welterweight as well.
“I think he’s a current welterweight [in size], and he’s just moving up because of the opportunity against Vergil Ortiz, who is coming back.
“I remember seeing Ortiz the first time live against Mauricio Herrera. The guy is as scrappy as hell, and Vergil destroyed him. He completely dominated him and got him out of there in three rounds, which was very eye-opening for me. This kid [Vergil Jr.] is a different level of talent.
“He said, ‘Robert Garcia has seen me in the gym. My dad has seen me in the gym. I’m Vergil of old. I’m going out and doing what I do.’ Like I said. If Vergil goes out and Vergils, it’s going to be a short night,” said Algieri.