Vergil Ortiz Jr. continues relentless march toward world title contention, faces Brad Solomon on December 13
Now is the time of year when the marinating and pondering occurs, because we are headed toward the final month of 2019. Fight media, pundits and fans will be mulling their “bests.” Fight of the Year, what was it? Fighter of the Year, who deserves that honor? And Prospect of the Year, who will get most votes, speaking to their present excellence and the promise of a continued ascent?
Welterweight Vergil Ortiz Jr. is 21 years old, lives in Texas, and holds a 14-0 record. He will glove up Friday, Dec. 13 against Brad Solomon at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, in a scrap that will unfold on DAZN.
The Texan is promoted by Golden Boy and is a shining diamond in their collection. “We’re absolutely proud of what Vergil Ortiz Jr. has been able to accomplish in his young career,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO, in a release announcing the bout. “That’s why we’re ending the year with him in an exciting main event fight on DAZN. The 147-pound division is one of the most competitive and popular divisions in boxing, so another knockout win will put this young talent on the path to very big fights in 2020.”
One reason that Ortiz might get a vote over another young gun on an ascendant arc is that he has pop. POP more like. He has stopped every foe since debuting in 2016. That includes a win over Antonio Orozco, who came to the ring August 10 with a 28-1 mark.
He left 28-2, and with intimate knowledge of the power that Ortiz possesses in both hands. He can and does hurt you about as equally with the left as with the right.
Another thing we’ve noticed, the kid is humble. You can see he doesn’t take himself too seriously, as he is loose, pleasant and present on social media.
Solomon, 36, hails from Lafayette, Louisiana and holds wins over Freddy “The Rail” Hernandez and Adrian “El Tigre” Granados. (See below – Solomon in April 2016 loss to Konstantin Ponomarev)
“Vergil Ortiz Jr. is a great young prospect,” said Solomon. “It’s going to be a good matchup. I’ve been out of the ring for about a year, so I have to come back and beat this young fighter. I have to show everyone in the welterweight division that I’m still here.”
My three cents: I’d bet the house and the beach house on Ortiz. Solomon fights about once a year, and Ortiz is going to smack the rust off his head and body.
NOTE: There are some other up ‘n comers, and established talents on this card. In the co-main event, Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (21-2, 17 KOs) of San Juan, Puerto Rico will make his return in a 10-round fight. Machado will officially make his debut at 135 pounds after losing his WBA junior lightweight title against Andrew “El Chango” Cancio.
Erik Bazinyan (23-0, 17 KOs) of Quebec, Canada will defend his NABA super middleweight title in a 10-round clash. Bazinyan is inching closer to a world title with each battle, and he’ll look to maintain his top contender status with an impressive win to close out the year.
Opponents for Machado and Bazinyan will be announced shortly, we are told.
Alexis “Lex” Rocha (14-0, 9 KOs) of Santa Ana, California will face Michael “The Artist” Perez (25-3-1, 11 KOs) of Newark, N.J. in a 10-round bout.
Luis Feliciano (13-0, 8 KOs) of Milwaukee, Wis. will defend his NABF junior welterweight title against Herbert “Ace” Acevedo (16-2-1, 6 KOs) of Garden City, Kansas in a 10-round fight.
Follow Michael Woods on Twitter: @Woodsy1069