Is Terence Crawford-Vergil Ortiz Realistic For 2021?
We know that unbeaten rising Welterweight Vergil Ortiz has his toughest test in front of him soon, when he battles former Junior Welterweight World champion, Maurice Hooker in a non-title fight. However, could Ortiz be the possible next opponent for Superstar WBO Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford?
That’s a question that we tackled on the most recent edition of the big fight weekend podcast. Senior writer for the site Marquis Johns and Gayle Falkenthal ,boxing writer for of CommunityDigitalNews.com, came aboard to discuss possible big matchups for the next 10 months of this year.
And, Falkenthal did not hesitate to suggest that she believed a Crawford vs Ortiz matchup was very realistic,
Powered by RedCircle
“Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford and Vergil Ortz…Bring. It. On,” Falkenthal said to us. “That’s a great fight that nobody knows they need. Crawford can’t find a dance partner. Ortiz, Jr. has not been challenged to date. He’s laid waste to everybody.
Bet on yourself. Both of you guys.
It’s the veteran and the young ambitious guy. It’s not an exponentially expensive fight. I think it’s definitely makable.”
Ortiz, who is 16 – 0 with 16 KOs to start his pro career is scheduled to take on Hooker headlining coming March 20th at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth Texas.
The 22 year old Ortiz has created buzz over the course of the last couple of years. This, as he has flattened 16 consecutive straight pros. He was last in action back in July and as we wrote then, he demolished veteran Sammy Vargas. Ortiz was headlining the first show back, post Covid 19 shutdown of the sport for three months, for Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN streaming.
As for Hooker (27-1-3 18 KOs), he was last in the ring in July of 2019. That’s when he fought José Ramírez in a Unification bout for two of the 140 lb. titles in Dallas. The pair served up a back-and-forth shootout that Ramirez won via stoppage in the sixth round of a hard fought contest.
Hooker was to have fought former WBA Jr. Lightweight champ, Regis Prograis, in an elimination bout for title contention last April. However, that fight was scuttled by the Coronavirus pandemic. And, Hooker struggled to be able to make weight at 140 lb. any longer.
In the aftermath of Crawford’s most recent win, an easy 4th round TKO of Kell Brook on November 14th, Arum spoke with boxing insider Dan Rafael for a Boxingscene.com. And, he didn’t hold back on the reported “tension” over Crawford not having gotten a bigger named, more lucrative fight over the last two years.
“I don’t give a sh-t,” Arum told the site. “I don’t care because what (the Crawford camp) did was reprehensible. The lawyer sent a letter to us. OK, that’s fine. That’s what lawyers do. But you don’t release it to the press. All of this should have been behind closed doors like what men do. I’m not going to take this sh-t. I’m just not going to do it, because the truth is I’ve lost money with this guy.”
Several media outlets were leaked the info about the letter and Crawford’s displeasure with his deal just days before the Brook defense.
“It will be (another Crawford promotion) another hit on my net worth,” Arum said. “I’m being serious. I turned the whole project of Crawford over to (Top Rank president and Arum stepson) Todd (duBoef). I washed my hands of it. I’m too emotional about it. There was this last kerfuffle with the Brook fight when he didn’t sign the contracts so we couldn’t promote on (the) Lomachenko-Lopez (telecast). I have long since departed working with Crawford.”
Arum is making reference Crawford, 37-0, 28 KOs, not agreeing to the terms of his November 14th fight until the night of the Lopez-Loma October 17th battle. Thus, hampering promotional buildup.
Of course, there was no live gate for either title fight in the Las Vegas “bubble.” And both bouts were on regular pay cable ESPN and not a PPV option. So, it’s not like there was that much more to “sell” to the public to make Top Rank money.
Still, the 33 year old Crawford is unbeaten, has defended his WBO belt now four times and is seeking a bigger name like Errol Spence or Manny Pacquiao in 2021. His original deal with Top Rank reportedly expires this October.
Arum reportedly added an incentive to Crawford’s deal late last year that if he wasn’t offered a Unification 147 lb. title fight with Spence by the end of 2020, that he would receive $1 million extra. He obviously didn’t make the Spence fight happen.
Now, will the veteran Crawford, who is clearly one of the 10 best fighters in any division in boxing, would be willing to fight Ortiz, especially if he dispatches a 17th straight opponent in Hooker.