Vergil Ortiz Jr. continues his winning ways in emphatic fashion.
Someone's "0" had to go on Saturday when Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Michael McKinson squared off. Coming in, Ortiz was 18-0 with 18 knockouts, and McKinson was 22-0. It was the power of Ortiz against the technical prowess of McKinson.
When it came down to it, the brutality of Ortiz's shots wore McKinson down as the former stopped the Englishman at the 0:27 mark of the ninth round from Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. DAZN scored the fight 80-71 at the time of the stoppage.
“Honestly, I thought I didn’t really do anything good (in the first seven rounds)," Ortiz told DAZN's Chris Mannix in his post-fight interview. "I had to adjust big time. I should have listened to my corner from the beginning.
“I felt like I figured him out in the first round but just went away from it. My corner had the game plan laid out, my dad bitched me out for three or four rounds, and I finally listened to him, and we got him out of there.”
After a competitive first round, Ortiz took control from there. He outgunned McKinson, landing shots wherever the Brit was attempting to move. Whether it was the arm, shoulder, body, or head, it didn't matter to the 24-year-old. As long the body part was within distance, Ortiz was throwing a hook, a jab, or an uppercut to inflict as much damage as possible.
In the middle part of the fight, Ortiz started to make an emphasis on the body. He was relentless with uppercuts and digging hooks to let McKinson know it would only be a matter of time, and that was how the fight would end.
With about 30 seconds to go in the eighth round and WBO welterweight champion and one of boxing's top pound-for-pound fighters in Terence Crawford, Ortiz was stalking McKinson and connected on a picture-perfect body shot to send McKinson to the canvas for the first time in his professional career.
McKinson survived the round but wouldn't make it through the following round. To begin the ninth, Ortiz charged right at McKinson, threw a left to the body, and McKinson crumbled to the mat on two knees. He made it back to his feet, but Ortiz knew he had McKinson where he wanted him. He chased McKinson around the ring throwing shots. Seeing that McKinson was in serious trouble, his corner waved the white towel, and the fight was stopped, and Ortiz's undefeated record and knockout streak remained perfect.
Despite Crawford being in attendance, Ortiz was respectful because negotiations are still ongoing for a fight between Crawford and three-belt champion Errol Spence Jr. But if it doesn't get made, Ortiz will be ready.
"Yes sir," Ortiz said to Mannix if he was ready for a title shot. "But if the opportunity comes up, I’ll be more than happy to fight him."
Here is what happened at Vergil Ortiz Jr. vs. Michael McKinson.
Ortiz def. McKinson by TKO at 0:27 of the ninth round.
After dropping McKinson at the end of the eighth, Ortiz smelled blood right at the beginning of the ninth. He threw a left to the body, and McKinson took two knees. McKinson got up, and Ortiz went hunting for the stoppage. Seeing he was in trouble, McKinson's corner waved the towel, and the fight was stopped.
Ortiz comes right back with the jab. Straight right and a left to the body for Ortiz. Three-punch combination from Ortiz. Chopping right hand for Ortiz. Another straight right for Ortiz. With 30 seconds left in the round, Ortiz lands a vicious body shot to send McKinson to the canvas for the first time in his career.
McKinson makes it back to his feet and smartly circles the ring to run out the time. (10-8 Ortiz, 80-71 Ortiz)
Straight left for McKinson. Needs a lot more of those. Double jab for Ortiz. A left and right hook for McKinson. Straight right for Ortiz. A left for Ortiz. Another stiff jab from Ortiz. Hard uppercut to the body scores for Ortiz. (10-9 Ortiz, 70-63 Ortiz)
Ortiz begins the sixth by firing the jab. Left for McKinson. Right hand pushes McKinson to the ropes. Jab and a straight for Ortiz. Another hard left to the body. Straight right from Ortiz. Left for McKinson and a right to the body for Ortiz. (10-9 Ortiz, 60-54 Ortiz)
Three-punch combination to begin the round for Ortiz. Chopping left from Ortiz. Exchange of right hooks. Digging left to the body. A hard body shot catches McKinson's attention. Another hard left hook. Four-punch combination by Ortiz. He's clicking on all cylinders right now. Uppercut snaps McKinson's head back. Two more body shots for Ortiz as the round comes to a close. (10-9 Ortiz, 40-36 Ortiz)
Straight left backs up Ortiz. Good body from McKinson. Left hook knocks McKinson's mouthpiece out. The referee immediately calls for a break, much to the dismay of the crowd. That's only made Ortiz upset.
Series of right hands but McKinson's hanging tough. A combination from Ortiz. Another combination ends with a body shot. Double uppercut. (10-9 Ortiz, 30-27 Ortiz)
Hard right from McKinson. Combination and then a body shot by Ortiz. Body shot from Ortiz. McKinson comes back with a left uppercut. An uppercut on the inside by Ortiz. Firing jab from Ortiz. Starting to find a home for that. Three left hooks from Ortiz. Hard left by Ortiz. Uppercut from McKinson. Right by McKinson. Hard right to the body from Ortiz. (10-9 Ortix, 20-18 Ortiz)
McKinson is in a wide stance. He lands a hard left and turns Ortiz around into the ropes. I can see he's going to try and make it physical. Left hook from McKinson gets Ortiz's attention. Another left from McKinson. Right to the body from Ortiz. Sharp left from Ortiz. Straight right wobbles McKinson.
An accidental headbutt leaves blood pouring from Ortiz's left eyelid. Something to watch out for. (10-9 Ortiz)
Esparza def. Guzman via unanimous decision (99-91, 98-92, 98-92) to retain WBA and WBC flyweight titles.
A tougher than expected fight for Esparza as Guzman stood in the middle of the pocket and was willing to exchange. But Esparza landed the crisper shots and was more active to bring home another victory.
Up next at Ortiz vs. McKinson is Maurice Hooker (27-2-3, 18 KOs) facing off with Blair Cobbs (15-1-1, 10 KOs) at a catchweight bout of 150 pounds. They were scheduled to meet at welterweight, but Hooker inexcusably came in three pounds overweight.
Cobbs made his way to the ring, coming out to the music of WWE icon "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
Melikuziev def. Janjanin via TKO at 2:18 of the third round.
Halfway through the third and final round, "The Bully" dropped Janjanin for the third time with another body shot. This time, Janjanin didn't make it through the round as Melikuziev connected on a variety of power punches until referee Neil Young finally put Janjanin out of his misery.
Janjanin connected on a couple of punches, but all that did was anger Melikuziev. He landed a left uppercut and followed it up with a left hook, and a right hook sent Janjanin back to the canvas for the second time.