SAN DIEGO, Calif., July 24, 2020 – Vergil Ortiz Jr. of Grand Prairie, Texas (16-0, 16 KOs) delivered something more impressive than a one-punch knockout over Samuel Vargas of Toronto via Colombia (31-6-2, 14 KOs). He took the durable, courageous Vargas into the seventh round with a diverse attack, working on different skills until finally rolling up enough damage for referee Jack Reiss to stop the fight at 2:58 of the seventh round.
Ortiz Jr. gave himself “a solid B-plus” against Vargas. “I did everything I was supposed to do, he brought it out of me. He’s my toughest opponent to date.
“The plan was to keep my range, and not let him find his,” explained Ortiz Jr. “His game plan was to make me feel uncomfortable. The only thing that was difficult was, he could take a punch. He was easy to hit, but he was tough.”
Ortiz Jr. had Vargas in front of him for most of the fight, keeping him at his range early with power jabs the entire DAZN audience could hear clearly without the roar of a crowd. By the second round, Vargas was already bloody at the nose.
Ortiz Jr. began to move in and hit the body, but Vargas wouldn’t yield. Ortiz Jr. said he used footwork to find new angles and get to Vargas, in part to prove to critics he isn’t flat-footed. “That was just a little taste of what I can do. I could have done that to the guy all day. I need to keep him out the entire time. I stuck to my game plan, I showed what I can do,” explained Vargas.
Referee Reiss could have stopped the fight much earlier in the round, but Vargas was still on his feet and in deference to the veteran he let it go as long as he could, but just before the end of the round Reiss made the call.
“I hit him to the body so many times I don’t know how he didn’t go down,” said Ortiz Jr. “He was hurt the whole time. It was time to take him out. If it had gone to eight, it would have been worse.”
Ortiz Jr. said scoring blowouts isn’t really the point for him. “I don’t think any of them did what I’m doing right now. You can go the distance with someone and do a great job. You can stop someone in two or three rounds, but get caught the whole time.” Ortiz Jr. landed 154 of 318 punches (48 percent), against just 44 of 243 punches for Vargas (18 percent).
The big three for Ortiz Jr: Thuman, Garcia, Porter
Ortiz Jr. says he’s now ready to fight some of the marquee names at welterweight, promotional issues aside. “I would like to fight someone like Danny Garcia or (Keith) Thurman, those are very good fighters I can honestly beat. You’ve got to take risks. I’m not here to take the easy fights, I’m content to be in the hardest division in boxing. I want to earn it. It will mean a lot more.” He also named Shawn Porter.
“These guys are eventually going to be forced to fight me whether they like it or not. The big three for me are Thurman, Garcia, and Porter. I believe those fights are the most logical fights to make.”
There may be more charismatic fighters, but there are few other rising stars under 25 with all the right ingredients in place including strength, speed, ring IQ, work ethic, temperament, and the willingness to keep learning. When Ortiz Jr. says matter-of-factly “I’m going to be the best in boxing one day,” you believe him.
How did Golden Boy Boxing assess its first fight card in the post-pandemic era? Spokesman Gabriel Rivas said the organization would conduct a full review. “Right now we can tell you it was a 10 out of 10. There was an issue with the co-main event, with the Robert Garcia issue. What it shows is that Golden Boy can deliver competitive, good fights that are safe.”
Shane Mosley Jr. gets decision over Jeremy Ramos
It took middleweight Shane Mosley Jr. of Pomona (16-3, 9 KOs) a few rounds to really get into his groove against Jeremy Ramos of Colorado Springs out of Puerto Rico (11-9, 4 KOs). Once the middleweight was warmed up and relaxed, his performance wore down the sturdy Ramos. Scores were 80 – 72 X 2, and 79 – 73.
Ramos didn’t have the punch output to compete with Mosley Jr., and from the fifth round on started counting on scoring a single knockout punch. Mosley Jr. didn’t make any mistakes and didn’t let it happen. Credit to Ramos for not giving up and making Mosley Jr. work for the win.
“I felt very comfortable in there, working with my coach Justin Gamber on different looks,” said Mosley Jr. “Years and years of different experiences, training with my dad, Brother Naazim (Richardson), all these guys that have cultivated my game. My current coach Justin Gamber has done a good job putting it all together and helped me have an even better performance. Sharpening up will come with more fights.”
The former “Contender” competitor did nice bodywork and connected well behind his jab, landing double the punches of Ramos (209 to 104), but he doesn’t have devastating power. In a competitive middleweight division, Mosley Jr. will need to find another gear to get to the top tier.
Seniesa Estrada needs just seven seconds for knockout win
A seven-second KO for Seniesa Estrada. pic.twitter.com/hD0DqHVedo
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) July 25, 2020
Seniesa Estrada of East Los Angeles (19-0, 8 KOs) scored a stunning seven-second knockout over mismatched Miranda Adkins (5-1, 5 KOs) of Topeka, Kansas. The 42-year-old cancer survivor was a late opponent, and she simply didn’t have the skills to be in the ring with an aggressive puncher like Estrada. Estrada went right to Adkins, starting with several body shots, and then went to headshots, with a hard left hook and a follow-up right hook turning out the lights. Adkins was out cold with no count necessary. Estrada retains her WBC Silver light flyweight title.
“I give Adkins so much credit and so much respect. She stepped up and took the fight,” said Estrada. “Miranda was the only one that stepped up and accepted the fight. I know I have more experience than her. Once I went in there and let my punches go, I couldn’t stop. I knew the outcome would be a knockout for sure, I just didn’t know when.”
Estrada says she’s ready for a title fight and wants any champion between 105 and 112 pounds, naming WBC minimumweight champion Anabel Ortiz and WBC light flyweight champion Yesenia Gomez. Estrada said she’d also give her nemesis Marlen Esparza a rematch if she wants one.
Hector Valdez remains undefeated in Texas battle
Hector Valdez of Dallas (13-0, 8 KOs) kept his record intact with an eight round decision over fellow Texan Josue Gonzalez (11-12, 1 KO) of Houston. Scores in the eight-round super bantamweight fight were 79-75 on all three cards. Gonzalez is a durable part-time fighter and full-time construction worker who took the fight on a week’s notice. He has never been dropped, and although Valdez drilled Gonzalez to the body multiple times Gonzalez stayed on his feet and gave Valdez plenty of work.
Sanchez kicks off boxing’s return to California with decision win over Kinda
Welterweight prospect Evan Anthony Sanchez of Parlier, California (8-0, 6 KOs) couldn’t get the knockout he wanted, but he scored a knockdown and a solid six-round decision win over veteran Issouf Kinda of the Bronx via Burkina Faso (18-5, 7 KOs). Scores were 60-54, 59-54, and 58-55.
The 22-year-old has solid offense behind a good right hook, and he can continue to work on the rest of his craft while his offense takes care of the basics. Sanchez said it was an honor to be in the first bout in California after the coronavirus pandemic shut down boxing. “A lot of people are watching this fight. I got 100 messages today, that means a lot. It’s an honor opening up for Golden, and I hope I get more big cards,” said Sanchez. Sanchez admitted he wanted the knockout but was feeling a little rusty. “I’m usually knocking them, out in the first three rounds. I really wanted to stop him. (Kinda) has a lot of experience, he’s got 22 fights and fought Jose Ramirez.”
Prior to the main event, veteran trainer “Brother” Naazim Richardson and middleweight prospect Travell Mazion both honored after their recent deaths. Richardson passed away Friday after a long illness; Mazion, age 24, was killed in an auto accident in Austin, Texas on July 15. Richardson trained Shane Mosley Jr. as well as his father. After the bout, Mosley Jr. said Richardson would have told him to work now, and grieve later.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is an award-winning boxing journalist covering the Sweet Science for Communities and for boxing fans worldwide. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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