Home Boxing News Vergil Ortiz Jr: “Knockouts and undefeated records don’t matter”

Vergil Ortiz Jr: “Knockouts and undefeated records don’t matter”

Vergil Ortiz Jr. Photo credit: AP/John Locher

Undefeated knockout artist Vergil Ortiz Jr 15-0 (15) says he isn’t worried about knockouts or undefeated records ahead of his fight against rugged veteran Samuel Vargas 31-5-2 (14) at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California on Friday night.

“There’s a lot of fighters out there just worried about their undefeated streak,” the 22-year-old welterweight contender told Yahoo Sports.

“That’s not what boxing’s supposed to be about. You’re supposed to want to fight the best.

“I think [Floyd] Mayweather kind of set the tone for everyone like that because now everyone wants to be undefeated when they retire.

“But it’s not supposed to be like that. You’re supposed to fight the best. Look at the all-time greats. Literally every single one of them has lost before, because they took [the most challenging] fights.

“There’s a reason why they were in the all-time greats. That’s the right mentality to have.”

Colombian Vargas, 31, promises to present Ortiz with the toughest test of his career to date. Four of his five losses have come against current or former champions Errol Spence Jr, Danny Garcia, Amir Khan and Luis Collazo.

Despite his seasoning, Bernard Hopkins of Golden Boy Promotions is expecting an explosive performance from Ortiz.

“I’m going out on a limb and saying I’m expecting a super, super exciting, energetic fight,” Hopkins said.

“At the end, [Ortiz will] win with a devastating knockout. Vergil wants to be in a spotlight. He knows that he’s been handed this by work, hard work.

“His opportunity came kind of out of nowhere and he’s now got to step up to the plate… He will deliver and I think he’s going to deliver big.”

Golden Boy president Eric Gomez says they are almost ready to release Ortiz from the leash and put him in with anyone in the deep 147-pound division.

“He’s just about there where we’re willing to put him in there with anyone, and you know how many good [welterweights] there are out there right now,” Gomez said.

“He’s always been a big puncher, a hard puncher, but he’s worked at things and he’s stronger now. He knows better how to set things up and he’s even more powerful than he was.”