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Vergil Ortiz Shrugs Off Rust For KO Of McKinson

Golden Boy Promotions

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Vergil Ortiz Shrugs Off Rust For KO Of McKinson

Local Dallas-Fort Worth fan favorite and rising welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz wanted to get a knockout in his return to the ring from the near one year layoff. And, Saturday night it took a while to put away England’s Michael Mckinson, but eventually the hard punching Ortiz did just that.

Ortiz dropped McKinson with a left to the body in the eighth round and eventually, finished him off in the first 30 seconds of the ninth round for a TKO win in the main event of The Golden Boy Promotions show in Fort Worth, Texas.

Ortiz, now 19-0, 19 KOs, had been out of the ring for almost a full calendar year after suffering from a blood disorder earlier this year that postponed the Mckinson fight. And early on in Saturday’s bout in the downtown Dickey’s Arena, he showed some ring rust. But ,Ortiz who had scored 18 consecutive knockouts to start his career, was clearly landing hard shots at the body, as well as right hand to the head as the bout wore on.

The southpaw Mckinson, now 21-1, came in with only two knockouts in his 21 pro wins and wasn’t much of a puncher in this one.  But, he deserves credit for standing in and taking some of Ortiz’s shots as the fight moved into the latter rounds. In the end though, Ortiz hit McKinson on the right side of his rib cage and kidney, dropping him down to his knees at the end of round eight.

When the 9th round began, the Brit was still affected by that punch and seemed after another glancing blow to also sprain his right ankle. McKinson rose at the count of seven ,was allowed to continue, but eventually Ortiz tagged him with a couple of more shots along the ropes and the referee stopped things at the 27 second mark with McKinson hobbling away.

“The first seven rounds I didn’t do anything good. But, I had to adjust- listen to my corner,” Ortiz said after the bout to DAZN. When asked about whether the year off affected him Saturday? Ortiz replied, “it didn’t impact me too much. If you know me, you know I am always in the ring working hard 24/7. In two weeks-three weeks I’ll be back in the gym. I’ll be running tomorrow.

“I felt like I figured him out in the first round, but then I just went away from it….my corner had a game plan. My dad ‘bitched me out’ for three or four rounds. I finally got back around to it and got him out of there.”

Ortiz is now certainly in a position now to fight unbeaten WBA number one contender Eimantas Stanionis of Lithuania. Errol Spence holds three of the welterweight world titles including the WBA world championship. But,  it’s believed he will be fighting an undisputed battle with WBO champ Terence Crawford later this year.

On the undercard of the Ortiz – McKinson main event, Philadelphia born now Hollywood based, Blair “The Flair” Cobb scored the biggest win of his professional career in a lopsided unanimous welterweight decision victory over former junior welterweight world champion Maurice Hooker. Cobbs surprised the veteran Hooker dropping him three different times in the first three rounds of the fight and never looked back on his way to the decision victory.

Cobbs won by scores of 97-90 on two cards and 96-91 on the third one.

While the win was a tremendous boost for Cobbs’ 15-1-1 career, it likely spells the end for Hooker, who after losing his world junior welterweight title to Jose Luis Ramirez on a KO in July 2019, also subsequently was beaten by Virgil Ortiz on a stoppage in March of last year. And, then, the loss to Cobbs Saturday night makes it three defeats in four fights.

Further, Hooker, now 27-3-3, also didn’t do himself any favors when he came in 3 lb. over the 147 lb. limit at Friday’s weigh-in and the knockdowns early seem to indicate that it was only a matter of time before Cobbs would be victorious.

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A veteran broadcaster of over 25 years, T.J. has been a fight fan longer than that! He’s the host of the “Big Fight Weekend” podcast and will go “toe to toe” with anyone who thinks that Marvin Hagler beat Sugar Ray Leonard or that Tyson, Lennox Lewis or Deontay Wilder could have beaten Ali!

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