Vergil Ortiz Jr. (20-0, 20 KOs) and Ismael Barroso (25-4, 23 KOs) were both victorious, winning by a pair of first round knockouts in their respective bouts on Saturday night against overmatched opponents, Fredrick Lawson (30-4, 22 KOs) and Ohara Davies (25-3, 18 KOs) on Saturday night at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Barroso, 40, upstaged Ortiz Jr., using his crushing power to drop Davies twice in the first round to win the WBA interim light welterweight title to earn a rematch against WBA 140-lb champion Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero.
Barroso’s one-punch power in his fight with Davies was impressive, as he was hurting him with every shot.
There was absolutely nothing controversial about Barroso’s win, as he just steamrolled the 31-year-old Davies, whom Oscar De La Hoya had referred to as a star earlier tonight on social media.
Davies looked like the farthest thing from a star tonight, and you have to wonder whether he now regrets signing him to his Golden Boy stable. That looks like a mistake on De La Hoya’s part to sign Davies.
In Vergil Ortiz’s fight with the 34-year-old Lawson in the main event, he hurt him with a jab, that sent him in full-scale retreat to the ropes for a last stand. Vergil then threw a series of slow punches, virtually all of them blocked by Lawson.
When one of them finally got through, referee Tony Weeks just jumped in and stopped the fight out of the blue. It was a very weird stoppage, as only one of Ortiz Jr’s punches had landed in his final flurry, and it didn’t hurt Lawson. The fight was stopped at 2:33 of round one.
The 25-year-old Vergil Ortiz Jr’s fight was over with so quickly that it was impossible to tell whether he’s improved in the 16 months since he’s been off.
He looked slower tonight than he’d been in the past while fighting at 147, and his punches didn’t look anymore powerful despite him fighting nine pounds heavier than he’s been at the best. Vergil Jr. weighed in at 156 lbs last Friday at the catchweight limit.
Ortiz Jr. said during the post-fight interview that he wants WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu next, but that might not be a smart thing to do after this fight because he didn’t get a chance to get the rust out before referee Tony Weeks pulled the plug on the fight.
It would be better if Ortiz Jr. gets a couple of true tune-ups under his belt against live bodies with a different referee working the fights who won’t prematurely stop them like tonight.
These are the type of opponents Vergil Jr. should be fighting next:
- Erickson Lubin
- Xander Zayas
- Brian Mendoza
- Jesus Ramos
- Errol Spence Jr.
- Terence Crawford
- Sebastian Fundora
- Charles Conwell
Arnold Barboza Jr. stops Xolisani Ndongeni
Undefeated #1 WBO light welterweight Arnold Barbosa Jr. (29-0, 11 KOs) put in a good performance in his first fight after signing recently with Golden Boy Promotions, stopping the game but limited Xolisani Ndongeni (31-4, 18 KOs) in the eighth round.
Barboza Jr. was seeing action for the first time in a year, and he looked good, hurting the 33-year-old Ndongeni with a left to the body in round five. In the sixth, Barboza Jr. staggered Ndongeni with a right to the head that had him holding on.
From there, it got worse, as Barboza Jr. hurt Ndongeni late in the seventh round, tagging him with a storm of head-snapping shots that caused him to back up to the ropes and clinch to make it out of the round.
Ndongeni’s corner stopped the fight after the eighth round, as he’d taken a shellacking in that round by Barboza Jr.
The 140-lb division is on notice. Barboza had a tremendous showing. What he did in the ring shows that he’s at an elite level and proves that he deserves that world title shot sooner than later,” said Oscar De La Hoya to the media.