Saturday night on the Canelo Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs undercard, bluechip prospect and arguably Golden Boy Promotions‘ best up and comer, Vergil Ortiz (13-0, 13 KOs), took on his toughest fight to date taking on the rough and rugged veteran, Mauricio Herrera (24-9, 7 KOs).
The Texas native entered the fight with an unblemished record and having knocked out every rival to step in the ring. Mauricio Herrera has made a career of getting close but never closing the deal against the top opposition. Ortiz promised fireworks in the buildup to the bout and he delivered.
The opening round was calculated from both sides but it was only a matter of time before Ortiz landed big and in the second, he found his mark. Right before the second round would close, Ortiz landed bombs and Herrera found himself floored just before the bell could save him. After beating the count and trying to recover sensation in his legs, Herrera somehow was able to continue.
Ortiz continued to stalk his prey after smelling blood and another onslaught of punches ensued and some vicious hooks and straights, Herrera crashed to the canvas once more before the referee called a halt to the action and Ortiz completed his goal and handed Herrera his first KO loss.
“I figured him out after the first round,” said Ortiz after the win. “People don’t realize I work in the gym hard every day. I spar world champions all the time. I’m not the one that goes to the world champions and says, ‘hey, can we spar?’ They come up to me. And that’s the difference between me and the other prospects.”
While Ortiz looked masterful at 147, Ortiz still feels his true weight class is still at 140 and looks to claim the throne there before jumping up.
“I want to go back to 140 and get that world title,” said Ortiz. “There’s plenty of champions that I believe I can take on right now and I hope after this performance, everyone believes in that.”
Perhaps a fight with fellow Texan Maurice Hooker (26-0, 17 KOs) may be looming down the road giving fans an all Texas showdown.