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Knockout Artist Vergil Ortiz Jr. Opposes Antonio Orozco in Texas Homecoming

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  • Knockout Artist Vergil Ortiz Jr. Opposes Antonio Orozco in Texas Homecoming

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Vergil and Orozco at el cholos.jpg Views:	1 Size:	70.2 KB ID:	13524

    By David A. Avila

    LOS ANGELES-Welterweight sluggers Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Antonio Orozco met at the historic El Cholo’s restaurant in Los Angeles to greet the media on Tuesday in announcing their upcoming conflict later this summer.

    El Cholo’s restaurant, one of the oldest Mexican eateries in Los Angeles and famous for its margaritas, has hosted some other pre-fight events in the past. All were significant in their time.

    Could this possibly be a sign?

    Undefeated Ortiz (13-0, 13 KOs), a native Texan, has never met a foe he could not knock out and finds himself paired against Orozco (28-1, 17 KOs) on Aug. 10, in Grand Prairie, Texas. He’ll be joined on the boxing card by fellow Texans Joshua Franco and Hector Tanajara.

    Golden Boy Promotions executives along with trainers and managers of the main event fighters met at the Mexican restaurant that originated in 1923, which in modern Los Angeles makes it prehistoric. Though it’s not the original location – El Cholo’s was formerly located near USC.

    In the few times El Cholo’s hosted press conferences the fights led to significant moments in boxing.

    The last time I took part in a boxing press conference at El Cholo’s was possibly back in 2003 when Don King brought his charge John “the Quiet Man” Ruiz who was set to defend his heavyweight world title against Roy Jones Jr. Before that, I remember popular “Yory Boy” Campas in a press conference in the mid-1990s; maybe for his fight against Cassius Clay Horne at the Olympic Auditorium or Young Dick Tiger. Both took place in 1995.

    All of those fights proved to be important for the winners. Roy Jones Jr. became the first former middleweight champion since Bob Fitzsimmons in 1897 to win the heavyweight world title. Campas would later fight Fernando Vargas and Oscar De La Hoya in world title challenges.

    Will the winner in this clash find similar success?

    Ortiz, 21, has pounded his way to the top of the rankings as first a super lightweight and now a welterweight. Every single win came via a brain rattling knockout.

    His last win against veteran boxing wizard Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas was eye popping.

    The Riverside prizefighter Herrera was seemingly robbed of the super lightweight world titles when he fought Danny Garcia in Puerto Rico in 2014 and had never lost by knockout. This past May, that streak ended. Herrera was stopped in the third round by Ortiz.

    Now we have Orozco.


    The San Diego-based prizefighter has also never been knocked out and only recently was given his first loss as a professional.

    Known as “Relentless” Orozco, the former super lightweight contender is moving up in weight after toiling for the last several years to make the 140-pound weight limit. Now he ascends to 147 pounds along with Ortiz. Will the extra weight make a difference for the San Diego fighter?

    “He’s going to be stronger,” said Ortiz of his future foe.

    Orozco, 31, fought for the WBC super lightweight world title against current champion Jose Carlos Ramirez last September. Their explosive encounter was one of the best fights in 2018 and showed the gutsiness of the San Diego prizefighter.

    “I’m glad people were able to see my heart and courage,” said Orozco, who despite being knocked down twice rose up each time and battled with a ferocity that impressed those in attendance and those watching on television.

    It remains Orozco’s only loss.

    For Ortiz, though he won by knockout in all of his previous fights, he expects more from Orozco who fought against his stablemate Jose Carlos Ramirez in Fresno, Calif. and battled passionately for 12 rounds. Both Ortiz and Ramirez train in Riverside, Calif. under the guidance of Robert Garcia Sr.

    “It’s going to be a really tough fight and I’m excited about this opportunity. This is going to be eye candy for the fans,” said Ortiz who grew up in the Dallas, Texas area near Grand Prairie.

    Orozco feels equally excited.

    “There’s going to be a lot of fireworks,” said Orozco. “Everybody knows I’m relentless.”

    Both Orozco and Ortiz fight under the Golden Boy Promotions banner and know that the world will be watching this welterweight showdown streamed by DAZN.

    “Like I said it’s going to be eye candy for the fans,” Ortiz said.

    Photo by Tarrah Zael. Pictured left to right: Hector Tanajara, Vergil Ortiz Jr., Antonio Orozco, Joshua Franco

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel