Is Vergil Ortiz Jr. ready for WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford?

2 min read
VergilOrtiz_06082022 Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy

Vergil Ortiz Jr. registered his 19th successive knockout this past Saturday when he stopped Michael McKinson during the ninth round in Fort Worth, Texas. 

Following this win, Ortiz called out WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford who was ringside, but while the 24-year-old's courage has to be admired, there are doubts as to whether Ortiz can give a good account of himself against one of the world's best pound-for-pound fighters. 

One of those who believes Ortiz should stay away from Crawford is DAZN Boxing analyst Sergio Mora who put his case forward on JABS

"He’s ready for a title shot, that’s the good news. The bad news is that the people who hold the titles are Errol Spence and Terence Crawford," Mora said.

"Who am I to tell that kid who has 19 wins, 19 knockouts, that he’s not ready for a Terence Crawford or anybody in the world because he believes in his power, believes in his skill, his team believes in him.

"I would say stay away right now, there’s so much money to make, he’s packing the crowd, he’s becoming an attraction here in Texas, soak that up, that’s how you build a star.

"This kid has the power, he has the following, the team, to become a star."

Chris Mannix on the other hand believes Ortiz is ready for a shot at Crawford. 

"I say ‘yes’, bring on Terence Crawford v Vergil Oritz," Mannix began.

"He’s already checked all the boxes you need to check to get to this point, he beat the former champion in Maurice Hooker, knocked him out. He beat the tough former title challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas, knocked him out.

"He knocks out Michael McKinson who doesn’t have the pedigree of some of the top fighters, but he’s clearly skilled, slick and presented some of the problems that Vergil Ortiz has not seen before.

"I wouldn’t pick Vergil Ortiz to beat Terence Crawford, frankly I’m not sure I’d pick anyone at welterweight to beat Terence Crawford, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t jump at the opportunity."

However, a fight against Ortiz may not be in Crawford's immediate plans, the WBO 147lb champion is reportedly in talks with Errol Spence Jr. for an undisputed welterweight title fight later this year. 

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