Born in Dallas and raised in Grand Prairie, TX, Vergil Ortiz has quickly become one of boxing‘s top prospects to keep an eye on. With a record of 9-0, 9 KOs, it’s not difficult to conclude that Ortiz is a crowd pleaser in the ring.
Not only does the young Ortiz have a perfect knockout ratio, but all of his victories have come within the first three rounds of his fights. This time around, Ortiz will stand toe to toe with his steepest challenge yet in former champion Juan Carlos Salgado (27-8-1, 16 KOs).
Ortiz began his boxing campaign when his father first took him to a gym when he was just 5 years of age and hasn’t taken off the gloves since. Since then, Ortiz has tallied seven national championships, he was the winner of the 2013 Jr. Olympics and fought over 160 times as an amateur.
On June 23 at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, Ortiz will headline for the first time in his infant career in a 10-round bout.
“I’m excited about this opportunity,” said Ortiz. “I know Salgado wants to prove that he’s not just some stepping stone. I know he’s going to come with everything, but so am I.”
Salgado certainly has experience on his side going into this fight. His most notable win was an upset victory over Jorge Linares back in 2009. Ortiz will be a totally different animal with power in both hands that can check the chin of just about anyone in the division. Ortiz began his pro career under the tutelage of famed trainer Joel Diaz. Under Diaz, Ortiz’s star began to grow and shine with every knockout. To the surprise of many, Ortiz elected to switch trainers and began training with 2012 Trainer of the Year, Robert Garcia.
“Joel Diaz is a great trainer and we did a lot together, ” said Ortiz. “9-0 with 9 KOs is as good as I could’ve hoped for. We just felt, to get the best out of me, we needed to go a different route.”
Now with Garcia at the helm, Ortiz will look to continue on his warpath and add Salgado to his list of victims. Ortiz won’t have to search far to find good sparring work. Having pound-for-pound great Mikey Garcia in your camp certainly has its advantages according to Ortiz.
The Golden Boy Promotions card will air on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes with a start time scheduled for 9:00 pm, EST. Also featured in the co-main event bout will be new stablemate and fellow Texan, Hector Tanajara (13-0, 5 KOs).
Ortiz’s message to the Super Lightweight division is simple. “I’m sorry, but I’m coming for you,” said Ortiz.
With no shortage of competition, Ortiz will no doubt get his chance to prove himself against elite talent in no time.
Header photo by Lina Baker/SeeYouRingside Photography