CAN RISING STAR ORTIZ JR. PASS YET ANOTHER TOUGH TEST IN OROZCO?
On Saturday night, rising prospect Vergil Ortiz Jr. (13-0 13 KO) will face off against former world title challenger Antonio Orozco (28-1 17 KO) at the Verizon Theatre in his hometown of Grand Prairie, TX. The card will be showcased on the subscription-based service DAZN.
Ortiz, who is one of Golden Boy Promotions’ most talented young stars, is coming off what may be his most impressive victory to date: a 3rd round KO of Mauricio Herrera. Herrera, who is widely known for losing a controversial decision to then-junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia in 2014, had never been knocked out prior to his fight with Ortiz.
Orozco, on the other hand, is a much more seasoned contender. The 31-year-old has wins over Humberto Soto, Emanuel Taylor, and former world champion Miguel Acosta. His most recent outing was a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Jose Luis Rodriguez.
The lone defeat for Orozco came at the hands of current WBC/WBO junior welterweight champion Jose Ramirez, who is arguably the best fighter in that division. Like Herrera, Orozco should prove to be a legitimate step-up for the young star in Ortiz.
For Ortiz, who is rated no. 5 in the WBO rankings, a win over Orozco could get him one step closer to a showdown with Ramirez. But Ortiz is only 21-years-old with less than 15 fights under his belt, so he may have some more hurdles to get through providing he gets the job done against Orozco.
While Ortiz-Orozco may not have immediate title implications, it may certainly set the winner up for a shot in the near future.
The co-main event will feature bantamweight Joshua Franco (15-1-1 7 KO) taking on former world title challenger Oscar Negrete (18-2-1 7 KO) for the third time in a row.
Franco and Negrete met each other in the ring for the first time in October of 2018, as both men fought to a 10-round split-draw. So, they fought again in April of 2019 to decide a winner. This time, Franco would be awarded a split-decision victory.
San Antonio’s Franco still appears to be in the developmental stage of his career. The 23-year-old has only 17 fights, and has gone 2-1-1 in his last four. His one loss was a 9th round TKO to Lucas Fernandez Leone in a fight in which he was ahead on two of the judge’s scorecards at the time of the stoppage. A win on Saturday will most likely close the book on the Oscar Negrete saga, but the young fighter still probably has a ways to go until he is viable for a title shot.
Many may recognize Oscar Negrete from his 12-round unanimous decision loss to WBC super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas in December of 2017, which was televised on HBO. Negrete, who was fighting in weight class he was unaccustomed to, was simply outclassed by the longer, taller and bigger Vargas over the course of the fight.
Also on the card, is prospect Hector Tanajara (17-0 5 KO) taking on Ezequiel Aviles (16-3-3 6 KO) in a lightweight bout.
Tanajara, who is also from Texas, is another one of Golden Boy Promotions’ top prospects. An impressive showcase against Aviles could land him a fight against a recognizable name in the near future. In his last fight in February of 2019, Tanajara outpointed Ivan Delgado via technical decision.
Aviles, who is 2-2 in his last four fights, is merely just an opponent for Tanajara, a stepping-stone to bring him to bigger and better fights. A victory for Aviles, however it may come, would definitely spoil Tanajara’s plans.