By Jeff Zimmerman at ringside
Unbeaten welterweight Vergil Ortiz Jr scored a sixth round KO over Antonio Orozco to win the WBA gold belt and an accompanying world title challenge on Saturday night at The Theatre at Grand Prairie in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Ortiz Jr (14-0, 14 KOs), out of Grand Prairie, TX, and fighting in his hometown for the first time as a pro, came out smoking from the opening bell as he landed a big body shot against former world title contender Antonio Orozco (28-2, 17 KOs) right from the jump. He soon followed up with a flurry of shots in the corner, before Orozco escaped initially. Ortiz got Orozco in trouble later in the round with power punches to the head and body, but Orozco showed his championship mettle by withstanding the initial onslaughts of Ortiz. In the 2nd round of the pro-Ortiz crowd, both guys landed to the body as Ortiz was going for the KO. Orozco went toe to toe with Ortiz who his trainer Robert Garcia called a future multi division world champion.
In the 3rd round, Ortiz worked behind the jab and landed combos and a right hand that stunned Orozco who continued to fire back. Much like his stablemate Jose Ramirez, Ortiz went toe to toe with the veteran Orozco. Ortiz continued to try and land his powerful right hand to end the fight early, but Orozco was not going away easy. It seemed in the 4th and 5th round that Ortiz took his foot off the gas slightly and was satisfied boxing from the outside.
But in the decisive 6th round of the scheduled 12, Ortiz went back on the attack and started landing his powerful combos again to the head and body as Orozco squats low to the ground every time. Ortiz timed it and landed his right hand to open the round and finally dropped Orozco midway through. Orozco got back to his feet, before Ortiz began landing at will and dropped Orozco for a second time. Ortiz smelled blood and finished off Orozco with another flurry of punches and before Orozco could even think to get back to his feet, Referee Mark Calo-oy waived it off. The time of the 6th round stoppage was 2:16.
Ortiz told Fightnews.com early this week, that Orozco was a big rock to climb in his 2nd fight at welterweight. Golden Boy president Eric Gomez also said Orozco was a big test for him and as continued to pass each one in his young career. Ortiz is expecting to fight for a world title in the next 2 years, but after a performance like tonight, he may want to move up that timeline. If nothing else, Ortiz, showed he is ready for his next big test in a division that is stacked with Spence Jr., Crawford, Thurman, Garcia and Pacquiao.