Vergil Ortiz Jr: “I Think Hooker Will Be The Hardest Fight Of My Career!”

Vergil Ortiz not falling for the hype and is preparing for the fight of his life

Vergil Ortiz Jr (left), Maurice Hooker
Vergil Ortiz Jr (left), Maurice Hooker

Vergil Ortiz not falling for the hype and is preparing for the fight of his life


Ahead of his next fight, a healthy number of boxing heads are already labeling Vergil Ortiz Jr (16-0, 16 KO’s) as the winner. On the one hand, it is easy to get caught up in his glossy record and eye-catching knockout percentage. In each of the sixteen times that Ortiz has graced the professional ring, all sixteen of his opponents have fallen to his power.

This is where his next opponent, Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (27-1-3, 18 KO’s), begins asking questions. Similar to Roger Mayweather before him, the puzzled Texan is quick to ask, “Who he beat?!” By Hooker’s estimation, he is the former world champion and the one who has fought the higher caliber of opposition. Come Saturday March 20, Mighty Mo foresees himself schooling a talented upstart who is out of his depth.

FOCUSED

Luckily, Ortiz has not been overly seduced by the warm sweet-nothings floating his way from his fans and some media. In the end, he views the situation much in the same light that Hooker does. He is squaring-off against a more-experienced combatant in an important step-up fight. It is a critical moment in his career and he is taking it seriously. The notion of blitzing ,then concussing Mighty Mo in easy fashion is not where Ortiz’s head is at. As he recently explained to Fight Hub TV, he is training for an arduous task ahead.

“I said it before, people are trying to sell the fight saying this is going to be the hardest fight of my career. I actually think it’s going to be the hardest fight of my career! We are not taking him lightly at all.”

TEAM EFFORT

While Ortiz is mindful of Hookers past lessons, he is just as conscious of the current ones he is undertaking. For this training camp, Mighty Mo has aligned himself with Brian “BoMac” McIntyre. BoMac also trains WBO World Welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford. Realizing that Hooker was sharpening his craft with that elite team has injected extra motivation to kick his own preparation up a notch.

Another item that the fellow Texas has not failed to lose sight of is Hooker’s uncanny reach advantage. The former world champion will enjoy a full ten inch handicap over Ortiz. Ortiz is not sweating it though. For him, it is simply another calculation to factor in when solving the overall equation of Hooker.

“He definitely has a long reach and that could play a key role, its’s an obstacle. It’s an obstacle to get over but obstacles were made to be getting over and that’s what we are going to do…[on Hooker training with BoMac and Bud] when you get sparring like that, it’s some experience, even pointers which I am sure he got, that helps out tremendously. It really helps to be surrounded by greatness, you know?”

THINGS THAT MAY BE…

If Ortiz is successful, especially in dynamic fashion, it does set up a nice storyline for a bout with Crawford. At the moment, Ortiz is ranked #6 by the WBC and #2 by the WBO. He has no intention of losing those critical footholds in the rankings. Being that he is in reasonable striking range of a fight with Bud, provided that he beats his stablemate, this would set up a fun premise to work with.

Admittedly however, Hooker will be Ortiz’s first significant step-up bout. Therefore, a fight with Crawford is probably premature. Yet ready or not, Ortiz is already up there with the big dogs and it is only going to get harder from here on out! So let’s see how he handles himself on March 20. Will he make enough noise to start smoking out Bud? Or, will Hooker make good on his word and derail Ortiz’s dreams? You will just have to tune in to find out.

By: Bakari Simpson

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About Bakari Simpson 1707 Articles
Bakari is a writer and contributor for 3kingsboxing.com. Visit cheetahhead.com to view more of his literary work.