Ortiz stops Hooker in fire fight

Ortiz Hooker
Photo: Golden Boy

By Jeff Zimmerman at ringside

This was perhaps the biggest fight in Dallas Boxing history between two Dallas born and bred fighters in rising star Vergil Ortiz Jr (17-0, 17 KOs) and former 140lb world champ Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (27-2-3, 19 KOs) in what was definitely one for the books as both fighters went right after each other from the opening bell. But in the end, the young hungry lion, Ortiz Jr., was not to be denied as he came away with the technical knockout victory in round seven against Hooker in front of a raucous crowd in Fort Worth, Texas at Dickies Arena and shown live on DAZN. The card was promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.

Ortiz came forward and took the fight to Hooker in round two and had him against the ropes at times, but Hooker quickly got away. In round three, Hooker used his long reach and his powerful right hand early, but Ortiz quickly closed the distance going to the body and then upstairs with his big right hand. Hooker also went to the body with straight right hands and an overhand right in what quickly became a firefight, similar to the Hooker-Ramirez showdown up the road in Arlington, TX in July 2019, a knockout win for Ramirez who is also the stablemate of Ortiz and both trained by one of the best in Robert Garcia.

Hooker, however, ended round three with two big left hooks and was clearly in the fight as Ortiz acknowledged with a smirk as the round ended. Hooker started off round four strong as he used his length and right hand to keep Ortiz at distance. However, the power of Ortiz was evident as he snapped Hooker’s head back a couple of times and like a shark was constantly on the attack. Ortiz showed great footwork and moved his head side to side and cut off the ring as he stalked Hooker the rest of the round. Both guys exchanged powerful right hands as the bell sounded. Ortiz once again teed off in round five as Hooker spent most of the round covering up against the ropes.

Ortiz finally put Hooker on the canvas after a flurry of punches at the end of round six, but Hooker got back to his feet and went toe to toe with Ortiz as the crowd went crazy. And finally, in round seven of the scheduled twelve, Ortiz dropped Hooker again with a right hand body shot and Hooker went down in pain with an apparently broken hand as referee Laurence Cole immediately waved it off at 56 seconds for the TKO victory as Ortiz Jr. became the new WBO International welterweight champ.

Oscar De La Hoya, promoter for Ortiz Jr, told Fightnews.com before the fight this was a great test for his prized pupil.

“This was the perfect fight to make at this time of his career. Hooker’s going to present to him a different style than what he is used to. He’s going to give him angles, he’s going to give him speed. He’s going to think a little in there, he has Crawford’s corner.”

Ortiz did acknowledge after the fight that Hooker was his toughest test to date but was never hurt.

De La Hoya also predicted what was to come in this Texas showdown between two of the best fighters from Dallas during this era.

“Once a fighter gets hit, everything changes game plans go out the window,” De La Hoya told Fightnews.com before the fight. “Your composure goes out the window and you get into a survival mode. You try to bring in plan B, plan C and nothing works and suddenly you find yourself knocked out. That’s what’s great about boxing. That’s what’s great about having two elite fighters in the ring at the same time.”

De La Hoya was spot on as both guys showed they were world class fighters tonight. Soon after his thrilling win, Ortiz immediately called out WBO welterweight champ Terence Crawford, who was in attendance, after the fight.

Crawford dismissed fighting Ortiz to the media after the fight, but thought he fought a good fight and did what he had to do but didn’t see him as a threat. Crawford also has his sights on finally facing Manny Pacquiao or perhaps Shawn Porter next.

In the end, Ortiz at 22, is well on his way to superstardom and could one day be the face of boxing and a pound for pound great. But on this night against fellow Dallas native, Maurice Hooker, Vergil Ortiz Jr. showed he was the best in Big D, not far from where they both grew up and became world class fighters. It was a great night for Dallas boxing.

Seniesa Estrada - post fight interview
Estrada dethrones Ortiz, seizes WBA 105lb title

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  • Now let’s see what Crawford’s excuse is now. Crawford claims no one wants to fight him. His top 3 contenders are Porter, Ortiz and Mikey Garcia. So now there is no where to hide.

    • Hey Pete that would be a good fight. Methodical fight between a upcoming banger and paced fighter in Crawford

    • Crawford would stop Garcia. He would be more aggressive than Spence. Spence could have stopped Garcia but was too cautious. Crawford would outbox Ortiz. Porter would give Crawford hell. But it would have to be the Porter that gave Spence hard fight.

  • Hooker might have the worst jab I’ve ever seen in my life. NOTHING on it.

  • That interview was hilarious though .. Good entertaining fight. I think their styles matched up pretty good and I really enjoyed the action. I agree with Sergio.. he’s not ready for Crawford. Crawford is a thinker in the ring plus he has power.. I seen a few opportunities for Crawford to take advantage of because of his style and ring IQ. I think Ortiz style is made for guys like Crawford so if I was Ortiz people I would wait a little before making that fight.. Specially if they want it to be his Next fight. No way.. it’d still be a great fight to watch though. But maybe not for his Career right now.

  • Ortiz gets the win, but I dont know if i would count this as a real win. the fight was stopped on a hand injury. not because ortiz did anything to cause the stoppage. i still think that a few more rounds of hooker peppering him with the body shots, that over hand right from hooker woulda caught ortiz coming in…and who knows what happens then.

    • Hooker held his own but he was on his way out.he’s got a chin though.I think he was going out that round and he knew it

    • Lol. What fight were you watching. So Ortiz didn’t do anything to Hooker? How’s Hooker get knocked down then? Cmon whether this fight gets or goes 20 more rounds Ortiz was gonna beat his ass. Nothing Hooker could do about it and Hooker had no chance at winning. Let’s move on.

    • I thought Hooker would last till the championship rounds but it ended way short of that. He was being doubled over by those body shots. He can really take a shot to the head, but those body shots were debilitating.

      The injuries to his hand saved him from a brutal knockout later. The signs were all there and Ortiz was relentless in attacking the body till Hooker left himself open to the head.

      It was a great stoppage on what was an extremely competitive fight, but Hooker was saved from an even worse beating in the next few rounds.

  • I believe Ortiz is entering into his primes just now, I wouldn’t match him against Crawford or Spence at this moment until he reaches his peak, maybe after two more fights.

  • Tremendous fight. One of the best I’ve seen this year, rivaled by the Estrada-Chocolatito fight but these guys hit a lot harder. Vergil Ortiz, Jr. is probably the best young fighter in the game. He’s defensively responsible, is disciplined, hits extremely hard with sharp impact, and has a varied arsenal of punches. His jab is a battering ram while Hooker’s jab is more of a nuisance.

    Both fighters were landing hard shots from the beginning, but Ortiz’s punches seemed harder. Hooker had success at times, but Ortiz kept backing him up and landing punches to the body and head. The fight turned when Ortiz began a concerted effort to go to the body. All those body shots were having an effect and they eventually wore Hooker down.

    Hooker was having a lot of success against Jose Ramirez before he got hurt and stopped. This was more of gradual beatdown as Hooker absorbed many more punches than he did against Ramirez. Hooker managed to land his share of hard punches, but Ortiz landed the harder shots in each round. The fight was dangerous for Ortiz because one punch could turn everything around. However, Hooker never did land anything to discourage Ortiz.

    Once Ortiz saw the body punches were having a significant effect, he doubled down on landing those hooks to the body. Ortiz sustained some damage to the face, but those were abrasions and no cuts.

    It was an extremely competitive fight and I still don’t understand how Hooker could have been a 10 to 1 underdog. It was the stiffest fight of Ortiz’s career and is his best win to date. The injury to Hooker’s hands just ended what seemed to be an upcoming knockout in the last two rounds.

    The sky is the limit for Ortiz. I wouldn’t recommend an immediate fight against Crawford or Spence, but he can probably beat any other welterweight out there. Remember, he’s only 22 years of age and has a bright long term future. As for Hooker, he can compete against anyone in the division, but doesn’t seem capable of beating the top fighters. His sights need to be set a tier down from the elite for future fights.

  • Ortiz is talented, young and hungry but let’s not feed him to the lions just yet.
    It would be a shame for the same thing to happen to Fernando Vargas to happen to this kid.
    He’s got the grit but lacks the experience the other champions have. Still under 20 fights and hasn’t gone the distance yet.
    Not ready for Crawford.

    • Agreed Rob, this was level l, need to get past level ll before you get to the end game. There are numerous fighters in the welterweight division who are better than Hooker(not taking anything away from Mo, he has the heart of a lion). How about Thurman, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter or Ugas before Crawford or Spence. I don’t think Ortiz is as advanced as Teofimo at this point. He got hit way too easily and I honestly don’t know if he will beat any of the guys mentioned above. Would be fun to find out though!

    • Rob, agreed. The confidence train Ortiz is riding on is fine for marketability, but one step at a time.

  • As expected, Ortiz obtained a KO victory. However, for now, Ortiz is not ready for Crawford or Spence. I would like to see Ortiz fight Keith Thurman or Mikey Garcia.

    I can’t wait to see how Ennis will look in his upcoming fight because Ennis and Ortiz will eventually scrap up at 147.

  • I think a Keith Thurman and Ortiz would be a good fight maybe later this year

  • I agree that Ortiz may not be ready for Crawford but can we just get Crawford to defend his title against legitimate contender? PAC is old so forget him. What about Porter or Mikey Garcia??

    • Why would you include Mikey Garcia in a potential bout when he is not a natural welterweight and got schooled by Spence. Cmon.

    • Porter would be the best fight, cuz he doesn’t stop. Crawford is just too good, has everything a fighter needs, now we really don’t know his chin, but I think he has one. Pac man would be my second choice, maybe old but can still pack a punch. Mikey would be my third choice. If pac man fights mikey, he would beat mikey, still too fast.
      Mikey too careful in the spence fight. Crawford would destroy mikey. Everyone better watch out for ortiz. I still think he would give crawford a good fight, might even beat him. Ortiz , not only a great fighter, he has that meanest kinda thing in the ring like Duran. They hate to lose, and they enjoy fighting.
      I still say crawford will pretty much beat them all.
      Last thing, pacman has excellent athletic skills, and bad ass calves, and loves to play basketball, full court. You do that for a long time and you never get out of shape.
      Thanks Pete.

  • Just watched Hooker’s interview. He’s an idiot!! He needs to learn how to talk first of all and then probably not try to fight the crowd. Him getting dropped has nothing to do with his hand. Good riddance.

  • Here we go again. These fools still don’t view Crawford as a great fighter.They think this young pugilist can defeat Crawford. Crawford will waste this guy. Hooker is a bum, a joke. And if Ortiz thinks he can use Hooker as a barometer to prepare for Crawford. He’s in for a rude awakening because Crawford is devastating.

    • Ortiz won, but did you see his face after the fight? If Hooker does that to him then what will Crawford or Spence do!?!?!?!

    • then its easy money right? i wanna see Crawford fight a current top 3 opponent for once his mandatory is Porter and Ortiz called him out and everybody dismisses Mikey yet Mikey is more of a live opponent then the twice battered way past his prime and unranked Brook come on Crawfish fight a live opponent for once

  • ortiz should fight someone like thurman or garcia first….he still has a trodding almost semi primitive style- he needs to get slicker……i see him as a young canelo who has become a sophisticated and whose intelligence is evident.

  • Crawford ducks anyone with a hart beat, forget him and move on to better fights.

  • Ortiz successfully matriculated into contender status. Simon Tov & Mazel Tov.

  • Ortiz looks strong but, he isn’t quite ready for the big dogs. A fight with THE MEAN MACHINE OR BENAVIDEZ BROTHER WOULD BE GOOD. Then Ugas . If he passes that , then Go after the baby big boys

  • Don’t kid yourselves, Ortiz is ready for Crawford or Spence now! And I can’t conceive of either of them overcoming his onslaught.

  • That was no broken hand. Crawford making excuses for his beaten homie. That was a dislocated shoulder by Virgil’s power punches. Homie got beat fair and square. Denominated by the champ.

    • In the ring, like in life, strength, composure and intelligence win. Never forget this rule.

  • Exciting fight…until Hooker quit…..Hooker could have outboxed Ortiz…by using that reach and staying in the outside…Hooker chose to slug it out and then quit…that simple

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