Vergil Ortiz Jr. overcomes adversity to knock down Mean Machine five times to win by eighth-round TKO

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Egidijus Kavaliauskas was set to be Vergil Ortiz Jr.'s toughest test to date on Saturday. 

Ortiz passed with flying colors but not without a bit of a bump in the road as he roared back from being nearly knocked down in the second round to send Kavaliauskas to the canvas five times, including four in the eighth round of the fight to win at its 2:59 mark from The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.


After an uneventful first round, Kavaliauskas nearly upset the apple cart in the second. The man known as Mean Machine rocked Ortiz on multiple occasions with one power shot after another. Ortiz appeared to be moments away from being sent to the canvas for the first time in his career. And it looked like it happened, but the referee said it didn't occur. 

From that point forward, the fight belonged to Ortiz. Instead of acting like a 23-year-old and fighting young and reckless, Ortiz stayed composed and worked behind the jab, allowing himself to regain his bearings. At the end of the round, Ortiz landed a power jab and then a short left hook to send Kavaliauskas down for the first time. 

Ortiz didn't go head-hunting and looking for the kill shot. Instead, he continued to implement the plan of attack and worked the jab, which would open things up as the fight wore on. 

The home state native found the opening in the eighth round. 

Ortiz was in the eighth round for the first time in his professional career, and it didn't go beyond this point. With about 90 seconds remaining, a left jab to the body sent Kavaliauskas to the canvas for the second time. The spirit looked to be taken away from Kavaliauskas at that point. Ortiz looked for the finish and nearly got it when another left put Kavaliauskas on the canvas for the second time in the round. Kavaliauskas made it up, but not for long. 

Ortiz (18-0, 18 KOs) unloaded a barrage of power shots, and an uppercut sent Kavaliauskas to the mat one more time. Sensing he was moments away from closing the show, Ortiz landed another flurry of power shots to send Kavaliauskas one last time with one second remaining to remain undefeated in 18 fights, with each one coming via knockout. 

Who is next for the young phenom? He wants one of the biggest fish at welterweight in WBO champion Terence Crawford.

“Yes sir”, Ortiz sharply responded to DAZN's Chris Mannix if he’s ready for Crawford. 

"There’s so much s—t in boxing," Ortiz continued. "I don’t even know what I have to do anymore."

Some out there feel Ortiz isn't ready for one of the best fighters in the world. Ortiz doesn't care if it's Crawford, unified 147-pound champion Errol Spence Jr., or Manny Pacquiao. He just wants the cream of the crop.

"I’m ready to fight whenever," Ortiz boldly said. "I’m here to fight anybody. I don’t care if it’s Crawford, Spence, Pacquiao. You name it. I’ll fight anyone."

Here is what happened at Vergil Ortiz vs. Mean Machine.


Vergil Ortiz maintains his undefeated and KO streak

Ortiz def. Kavaliauskas via TKO at 2:59 of the eighth round.

Ortiz was in the eighth round for the first time in his professional career. An exchange of jabs and left hands. A left to the body for Ortiz. A left sends Mean Machine to canvas for the second time. The spirit looks to be taken away from Kavaliauskas. Ortiz is looking for the finish. Another left put Kavaliauskas on the canvas for the second time in the round. 

Kavaliauskas made it up but not for long. Ortiz unloads a barrage of power shots and an uppercut sends Kavaliauskas to the mat one more time. 

Sensing he was moments away from closing the show, Ortiz landed another flurry of power shots to send Kavaliauskas down one last time with one second remaining to remain undefeated in 18 fights with each one coming via knockout. 



Ortiz-Kavaliauskas; Round 7

A battle of jabs to the second half of the fight. A right lands for Kavaliauskas but Ortiz fires one of his own. Precise double jab by Ortiz. Upstairs, downstairs from Ortiz. Triple jab from Ortiz. A laser right sends Kavaliauskas to the ropes. (10-9 Ortiz, 68-64 Ortiz)

Ortiz-Kavaliauskas; Round 6

Kavaliauskas lands a counter right to send Ortiz back into the ropes. Ortiz roars forward with a right of his own. Kavaliauskas getting into a little rhtyhm of his own behind the jab. Ortiz stays disciplined and continues to flick the jab. A right hand sends Ortiz back. A short right hand from Kavaliauskas to end the round. (10-9 Kavaliauskas, 58-55 Ortiz)

Ortiz-Kavaliauskas; Round 5

Ortiz is settling in,. A one-two sends Kavaliauskas to the ropes. Kavaliauskas comes back with a couple of jabs of his own. A stiff counter left from Kavaliauskas. (10-9 Ortiz, 49-45 Ortiz)

Ortiz-Kavaliauskas; Round 4

A left hook by Ortiz and he goes right back to the jab. An Ortiz left uppercut barely misses. A hard double jab. A right hand stops Mean Machine in his tracks and a left to the body closes the round. Ortiz is cooking. (10-9 Ortiz, 39-36 Ortiz)

Ortiz-Kavaliauskas; Round 3

Ortiz handling the adversity well thus far. He's fighting behind the jab. Kavaliauskas fires a left hand but Ortiz goes back to the body. An overhand right from Ortiz. A counter right from Mean Machine sends Ortiz to the ropes. All that did is upset Ortiz as he drops Kavaliauskas with a power jab and then a short left hook. Kavaliauskas makes it up as the round ends. The crowd is unglued. What a fight! (10-8 Ortiz, 29-27 Ortiz)

Ortiz-Kavaliauskas; Round 2

An exchange of jabs and then Kavaliauskas lands an uppercut. A right hook breaks the guard of Ortiz, who comes right back with a left hand. A right hand sends Mean Machine to the ropes and then Ortiz digs a left to the body. Kavaliauskas staying true to the jab but missing everywhere else. Kavaliauskas is firing off a barrage of power shots and has Ortiz on the ropes. Ortiz looks to be on the verge of hitting the canvas. A left hook staggers Ortiz.

Somehow, Ortiz fires back with a body shot to stop Kavaliauskas in his tracks. We have a fight in Texas. (10-9 Kavaliauskas, 19-19) 

Ortiz-Kavaliauskas; Round 1

Ortiz marches forward with a tight guard and unleashes a sharp jab. Another crisp left jab. Kavaliauskas with a left to the body. An exchange of jabs on the inside. A hard double jab by Ortiz to snap Mean Machine's head back. (10-9 Ortiz)

Time for Vergil Ortiz

It's time for the main event as Vergil Ortiz Jr. (17-0, 17 KOs) battles Egidijus "Mean Machine" Kavaliauskas (22-1-1, 18 KOs) in welterweight action. The biggest test in the young career of Ortiz. Can he pass with flying colors? We are about to find out. 

Roger Gutierrez wins trilogy, retains secondary belt over Rene Alvarado

Roger Gutierrez def. Rene Alvarado via unanimous decision (116-112, 116-112, 115-113) to retain the WBA (regular) super featherweight title. The WBA actually picked some competent judges for one fight as the three of them got it right. 

After getting off to a slower than expected start, Gutierrez picked up the action from seventh round on. He stayed composed, and worked behind his long jab and blasted his choppy right hand whenever he saw an opening. A solid showing for Gutierrez.

Gutierrez-Alvarado; Round 12

Alvarado coming out aggessive and landing the left hook. A stiff left jab for Gutierrez. Blood coming out of the left ear of Gutierrez. A combination by Gutierrez. He's taunting Alvarado. Alvarado blasts a right hand. Some swelling around the right eye of Alvarado. A left for Alvarado. (10-9 Alvarado, 114-114)

Gutierrez-Alvarado; Round 11

That choppy right keeps finding a home for Gutierrez. Alvarado is trying to press forward but Gutierrez keeps clinching. A combination for Gutierrez and Alvarado misses wildy with a left. (10-9 Gutierrez, 105-104 Gutierrez)

Gutierrez-Alvarado; Round 10

Gutierrez is going back to the jab and then blasts a short right. A one-two from Gutierrez, who is now in a rhythm. A right hand clips the chin for Alvarado. Another one-two for Gutierrez. (10-9 Gutierrez, 95-95)

Gutierrez-Alvarado; Round 9

A right pushes Gutierrez back. But Gutierrez comes back with that choppy right hand. A right hook clips Gutierrez. A left hook connects for Gutierrez but Alvarado comes back with a left of his own. Another difficult round to score. (10-9 Alvarado, 86-85 Alvarado)

Gutierrez-Alvarado; Round 8

Stiff jab pushes Gutierrez back and a right to the gut made the champ wince for a moment. Gutierrez connects with a powerful right to let Alvarado know he isn't going away. A right connects for Alvarado. Hard round to score. (10-9 Gutierrez, 76-76)

Gutierrez-Alvarado; Round 7

Straight right connects for Alvarado. Gutierrez is snapping off the jab when Alvarado inches closer to him. A right snaps Gutierrez's head back. A one-two for Alvarado. Hard uppercut to the body of Alvarado followed by two jabs. Alvarado trying to push the pace as time closes but Gutierrez is able to tie him up. (10-9 Gutierrez, 67-66 Alvarado)

Gutierrez-Alvarado; Round 6

Two jabs to begin the sixth for Gutierrez. A big overhand right from Alvarado sends Gutierrez back against the ropes. Alvarado is letting his hands go and setting the tempo. A left hook connects for Alvarado. Gutierrez is in a little bit of trouble. But not for long as Gutierrez lands a one-two. A stiff jab from Gutierrez. An uppercut by Gutierrez but Alvarado unloads a combination to close the round. (10-9 Alvarado, 58-56 Alvarado)

Gutierrez-Alvarado; Round 5

Gutierrez sticking out the jab and connecting to begin the fifth. A clash of heads and both guys are warned. A solid right to the body from Alvarado. A left and then a right from Gutierrez. A double jab and then a right from Alvarado. But Gutierrez storms back with another choppy right to close the round. (10-9 Gutierrez, 48-47 Alvarado)

Gutierrez-Alvarado; Round 4

Gutierrez starting to let loose. He's connected on a couple of right hands. Alvarado comes back with a right uppercut but Gutierrez fires back with a choppy right hand. A much needed round for the champion. (10-9 Gutierrez, 39-37 Alvarado)

Gutierrexz-Alvarado; Round 3

Alvarado continuing the pressure with the jab and connects with a left hook. Have to wonder if anything is wrong with Gutierrez. For some reason, he's been content on feinting and not much else. Right at the end of the round, a left hook connects for Gutierrez. He needs to pick it up in a hurry because he's giving away rounds. (10-9 Alvarado, 30-27 Alvarado)

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