Vergil Ortiz Jr.'s ascension up the boxing ranks has been nothing short of an onslaught with 15 wins — all by knockout.
The 21-year-old will kick off his 2020 campaign by taking on battle-tested veteran Samuel Vargas at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on March 28, live on DAZN. A win will inch Ortiz one step closer to a welterweight world title shot.
“I’m excited to be returning against Samuel Vargas,” Ortiz said in a DAZN press release statement. “He’s a tough fighter with a lot of experience, so I know that my talent and skills are going to be put to a tough test. I’m also happy to be fighting in Los Angeles at such a historic venue where many legends in the sport have fought. I love this city, and I love the people here, so I’m going to work very hard to perform to the best of my abilities on March 28.”
Ortiz is coming off a busy 2019, which had him fighting four times and delivering three knockouts.
During his last time out in December, Ortiz pummeled Brad Solomon with three knockdowns toward a fifth-round TKO.
The fireworks just added to the Dallas native's growing highlight reel of knockouts in a pro career that has yet to even hit the four-year mark.
Already, his Golden Boy Promotions promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, is predicting another KO for Ortiz on March 28.
“When people think of the future of the welterweight division, one name stands out, and that’s Vergil Ortiz Jr.,” De La Hoya said. “Simply put, this kid is special. His talent, speed and power set him apart from any other fighter who is moving up the 147-pound rankings. Don’t miss another spectacular knockout performance at the Forum or live on DAZN!”
While Vargas (31-5-2, 14 KOs) has experience, he hasn't quite been able to win the big fight, as he has suffered losses to the likes of Luis Collazo, Amir Khan, Danny Garcia and Errol Spence Jr. That being said, he did bounce back from a split-decision loss to Collazo last March with a unanimous decision victory over Silverio Ortiz in June. And that has him confident entering the bout against Ortiz.
"Throughout my career, I have always taken the challenges that other fighters in the division don't want, and that's exactly what I'm doing again,” said Vargas. “Vergil Ortiz Jr. is one of the brightest young stars in boxing, but he hasn't had to go through a war yet. I've shown that I'm willing to go through hell in that ring, so if Ortiz is everything he's hyped up to be, he better be on point March 28 because I know I will.”
The co-main event will have Pablo Cesar Cano up against Michael Perez in super lightweight action.