WBA Gold welterweight champion Vergil Ortiz Jr (16-0, 16 KOs) used his superior power to batter his opponent Samuel Vargas (31-6-2, 14 KOs) until the fight was stopped in the seventh round on Friday night. The match took place at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.
The bout came to an end at 2:58 of the seventh when referee Jack Reiss stepped in and stopped. In the moments before the fight was halted, Reiss was looking closely at the action because Ortiz was hitting Vargas with repeated blows without him throwing anything back.
The match was shown on DAZN in their first fight since the start of the pandemic.
Ortiz Jr wants Thurman or Spence next
After his win, Ortiz Jr called out Errol Spence Jr and Keith Thurman, saying he wants to fight either of them next.
Fighting without a crowd at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, the 22-year-old Ortiz put on a masterclass against 31-year-old ring veteran Vargas. Ortiz unloaded with a barrage of power punches in the seventh round that caused referee Jack Reiss to halt the bout.
Earlier in the round, Ortiz Jr hurt Vargas with a hard left hook to the temple. Ortiz then followed it up with a flurry of shots. Vargas made a smart move in grabbing Ortiz and tackling him to the canvas.
As a result, Reiss warned Vargas, telling him that he doesn’t want to see any more of that “bull-s***.” What did Reiss expect Vargas to do? He was severely hurt, and he needed to buy time to get Ortiz off of him.
In round three, Ortiz showed some nifty footwork in pivoting to move to the side of Vargas to land shots. It was such a great move that he had Vargas’ back to him. Showing class, Ortiz Jr chose not to take advantage of the situation the way some fighters would have.
Reiss warns Ortiz about his pivot moves
Surprisingly, Reiss stopped the action and warned Ortiz Jr for pivoting. Reiss had no reason to warn Ortiz because he pivoted with his feet. He didn’t grab Vargas around the waist to spin him. Ortiz didn’t let Reiss stop him from continuing to change angles on his attacks against Vargas.
Other fighters, if they were in the same boat as Ortiz, would have slowed up their foot movement if a referee warned them.
The way that Ortiz was pivoting during the fight to land his shots from different angles looked a lot like how Sergiy Derevyanchenko changes angles in his matches. This is a new thing with Ortiz’s game, and it makes you wonder if he’s been studying Derevyanchenko’s fights.
“I would like to fight someone like Danny Garcia or [Keith] Thurman,” said Vergil Ortiz Jr in calling them out. “I believe those are very good fighters that I want to see if I can beat.
“Let’s make those fights happen. I don’t think I’m 100% sure I’ll win those fights, but that’s the point of boxing. I’m here to take risks, and that’s how you become great. And I’m not here to take the easy fight,” said Ortiz.
Vergil Jr looks ready to take the next step in his career against the likes of Keith Thurman and Spence. Ortiz’s promoters at Golden Boy would like to get him a title shot right away, but they can’t force any of the world champions to face him.
Golden Boy would have a better shot at setting Ortiz Jr up with a fight against one of these top contenders:
- Yordenis Ugas
- Shawn Porter
- David Avanesyan
- Maurice Hooker
- Sergey Lipinets
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
- Josh Kelly
- Jaron Ennis
It’ll take a good offer from Golden Boy for them to entice one of those fighters to risk their necks against Ortiz.