RIVERSIDE, CALIF. (Dec. 3, 2019): Vergil Ortiz Jr. (14-0, 14 KOs), WBA Gold Welterweight Champion, hosted a media workout yesterday at Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Riverside, Calif. ahead of his 12-round fight against Brad “King” Solomon (28-1, 9 KOs). The fight will take place Friday, Dec. 13 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. and will be streamed live as part of fight season on DAZN.
Joshua Franco (15-1-2, 7 KOs) and Hector Tanajara Jr. (18-0, 5 KOs) also participated in the workout as they prepare to return on the undercard of Munguia vs O’Sullivan on Jan. 11 at the Alamodome in San Antonio and also live on DAZN.
Below is what today’s participants had to say at the workout:
VERGIL ORTIZ JR., WBA Gold Welterweight Champion:
“I feel like I’ve really shown that I belong in the top dogs. I feel like people are starting to recognize me a lot more, this was my breakout year and I’m going to break out even more next year. What I know about Brad Solomon, he’s a very experienced fighter, he has double the wins that I have. He’s crafty, he definitely brings something different to the table than my past fighters you know, he’s not going to stay in the ring, he’s going to want to make me miss, going to want to stick a move. We haven’t seen me fight someone like that in the professionals yet so everyone’s going to see how I do against a fighter like that. I’m ready to show people that I can fight any way, if I need to adjust then I can adjust. I haven’t had to make those adjustments yet. Some people say that I don’t move my head a lot, but I move my head a lot, especially in sparring. The thing is I haven’t needed to yet, I haven’t needed to do a lot of things in my fights yet because they’ve ended so early. There’s going to be a time when I’m going to need to use everything I have and that’s probably going to be one of my greatest fights. My work ethic comes from my dad pushing me this entire time. He’s really pushed me to not be satisfied with anything that I do, there’s always room for improvement, you can always work harder. A lot of my success has come from my dad.”
JOSHUA FRANCO, WBA International and NABF Bantamweight Champion:
“I came to that decision [to change weight] because of the past times that I’ve fought at 115lbs, I feel like I’m stronger at that weight, I feel like I have more power at that weight. I want to get a world title at 115lb right now, I’ll make the weight good with a good diet, and after that I’ll move right back up to 118lb and get a title right there. I’m really excited to finally fight in my hometown. I haven’t fought there since I was an amateur, so everybody back home is excited to see me. I’m excited myself to put on a great show for my fans and all my family so it’s going to be great.”
HECTOR TANAJARA JR., WBC USNBC Lightweight Champion:
“I’m ready to take on the next level, I already have 18 fights, it went by fast, but I feel like I’m ready for that next step and for whatever comes in 2020. Training here we’re all like a family. We all push each other. I always say sparring is tougher than the fights, that’s what makes the fights easy. We push each other in here we see one person going hard and it makes us go harder. If we see one person doing a little more, it makes us do a little more, it’s like a family affair. We all push each other naturally. I’m so excited to fight in the Alamodome, it’s my hometown. It’s the first time fighting back home since I’ve been pro. I’m really excited and motivated because now my family and friends, they don’t have excuses because it’s right there in the city so it’s going to be a good turnout and I’m just motivated. At this stage of my career, I feel like everything is coming together little by little. I’m going on five years of being pro and I feel like I’m becoming a complete fighter. In these next couple fights it’ll show, everything’s going to come together, and people are going to be real surprised.”
ROBERT GARCIA, Trainer of Ortiz Jr., Franco and Tanajara Jr.:
“Vergil is only 21 so he’s a very young fighter but at 21 he already has the strength, the mentality, the experience of a 27-year-old. He’s focused on one thing and that’s to become a world champion and to beat anybody in front of him. He’s one of the, if not the hardest working fighter I have in my gym, including all the world champions. He works his ass off. That’s one thing that he was raised to do, since he was a kid with his dad, his dad prepared him for one thing and that’s to be great in boxing. Little by little, he’s been growing and now he’s a professional, now he’s ready for any top fighter in the division. It was something his dad brought since they were kids to where they’re at now. We don’t want to rush him, we want to go fight by fight, especially right now at welterweight, we have to understand that a lot of the champions are fighting for other promotions and the fights are going to be very hard to negotiate. We’re not looking for any type of fight right now, we’re going fight by fight. if the right fight for a title comes maybe at a different weight division maybe we would consider it, but it would have to be the right fight against the right champion. At welterweight I don’t see any champion fighting Vergil in 2020. There’s no rush. The fans still haven’t seen the best of Vergil Ortiz.”