FRISCO, TEXAS (August 14, 2021): Vergil Ortiz Jr. (18-0, 18 KOs) retains his WBO International Welterweight Title and gets closer to a world title shot after his knock out defeat of the Lithuanian Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (22-2-1, 18 KOs). The scheduled 12-round fight was hosted at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, and was streamed live on DAZN. The event featured a night full of action as the Lithuanian went after Ortiz, Jr. early in the fight and caught him in the second round, where Ortiz, Jr. met the canvas but was ruled a slip by the judges.
Ortiz, Jr. returned and both fighters openly exchanged blows during an exciting second round that brought the chanting crowd onto its feet. The action continued in the third round, as Ortiz, Jr. knocked down Kavaliaskas and pursued him aggressively throughout the round. In the next rounds, the fighters gave each other some space, as Vergil began to use an effective jab on Kavaliaskas, catching him several times straight in the face. By the eighth round, Ortiz, Jr. effectively dominated Kavaliauskas, dropping the former Olympian four times to win the fight at the 2:59 mark of the eighth round.
Ortiz said, “I feel good. The fight started off slow in my opinion and I just had to adjust. After the second round, I had to adjust and try to find a way to wear him down. I started using my jab more and fought more intelligently. After the third round, I felt more confident because I knew that I could control the fight moving forward. But he is a tough guy, a very strong fighter, and I respect that he came to fight.”
“I came here to fight, I was sure I would stop him. I prepared myself so hard to be ready for this fight. I was 100% in shape, I was fast, I was strong. But you know, it is what it is, today he was stronger, he is a tremendous fighter. He has good power and good speed, good jab, good technique, he is a good fighter. I was thinking that I was going to end the fight in the second round, but he survived. He is a warrior,” said Kavaliauskas.
In the co-main event, Roger “The Kid” Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20 KOs) successfully defended his WBA Super Featherweight World Championship against Rene “El Gemelo” Alvarado (32-10, 21 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round fight. The fight went the distance as both fighters were game to exchange blows. Gutierrez secured the victory via unanimous decision with the judges scoring the fight 116-112, 115-113, and 116-112.
“I hurt my right hand, it was very inconvenient because I feel like I could have ended the fight earlier. But I want to thank god we were victorious and that is the most important thing. I know Rene is a warrior, but we had a good fight today and we are happy to take on the next challenge, and perhaps fight Leo Santa Cruz,” said Gutierrez.
Alvarado stated, “I feel like I dominated the majority of the fight. I do not feel like the decision was fair. In the last round, I did get the cut on my left eye and I couldn’t see, but I know that I closed those two rounds.”
In the second broadcasted fight of the night, Felix “El Gemelo” Alvarado (37-2, 32 KOs) was set up against Israel Vasquez (10-5-2, 7 KOs) in a programmed 10-round flyweight event. However, the fight ended early as Alvarado connected a right hook to Vasquez, dropping him to the floor in the first round; winning the fight by knockout.
“I did feel a little unstable with the change of opponents and of course I would love to fight Eric Lopez, but unfortunately that didn’t happen due to the visa issues. Fortunately, we had a good training camp and we were prepared for Israel. Luckily the fight ended early enough where he wasn’t injured and I wasn’t injured,” said Alvarado.
The DAZN opener had Dallas native George Rincon (12-0, 7 KOs) fighting against Nikolai Buzolin (8-4-1, 4 KOs) from Brookly, NY. in a scheduled 8-round welterweight bout. The fight started off slow as the fighters took the time to approach the fight cautiously. By the 4th round, both fighters began to feel more comfortable and confident with Rincon landing some impressive shots to Buzolin’s body. Buzolin was not shy at returning punches and at times pursued Rincon around the ring looking for more action. A head butt by Buzolin in the last round stunned Rincon, opened up a wound on the left side of his forehead, and caused the Brooklyn native a point deduction. Ultimately, the Dallas favorite, Rincon, took the victory via unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the fight 80-72.
“He was a shorter fighter with a very awkward style and I had to be careful with those looping hands. There were a few things that I wish that I could have made more clear during the fight, but his style didn’t really help. Just happy that I was able to be here, fight in my hometown, in front of my friends and family. Glad we got the win and I plan to go back to the gym and keep getting better,” said Rincon.
The Golden Boy Fight Night undercard streamed live on Facebook Watch included a 10-round super lightweight bout between Alex Martin (17-3, 6 KOs) and Josec Ruiz (23-5-3, 16 KOs). Martin, of Chicago, Il. faced a tough opponent in Ruiz, as the Miami native was willing to take a punch to land a punch. Martin, however, tried to use his reach and footwork to keep his distance and control the action. The strategy paid off as Martin was unanimously crowned as the victor with scores from all three judges at 100-90.
Martin said, “I knew that I hurt him with that body shot in the last round and he started to fold over. I still could have followed up with more body shots, but I am happy I got the win. I am ready to come back. I am motivated and just thankful to God for the opportunity.”
In the opening bout of the night, Dallas native Alex Rincon (9-0, 6KOs) took on Sunny Duvesonne (11-4-2, 8 KOs) of Avon Park, Fl. The 8-round super middleweight bout went the distance as we saw both fighters exchange blows to a rowdy crowd cheering on the hometown favorite Rincon. Duvensonne visibly hurt Rincon in the third round as Rincon used his feet to keep the distance between them for the remainder of the round. By the end of the fight, both fighters did their best to control the pace of the fight as they each unleashed a flurry of punches against each other leaving Duvensonne visibly shaken as the eighth round came to a close.
“He was a tough warrior, you have to respect him. I knew he was going to be a durable fighter. I also knew that I needed to use my jab to counter his jab and set up the shot. But I feel good, I think it was about time I got some war wounds so people can believe I am a fighter,” said Rincon.