By: Sean Crose
Eighteen fights. Eighteen wins. Eighteen knockouts.
Virgil Ortiz’ record has spoken for itself up to this point in his career. The undefeated 24 year old Texan has established himself as a hard hitting powerhouse at welterweight. He’ll be facing another undefeated fighter this Saturday night, when he squares off against Britain’s 22-0 Mike McKinson in a scheduled 12 rounder at Dickies’ Arena in Fort Worth. Not only is Ortiz fighting in front of his own Texans, he’s facing a man he’s generally expected to easily dominate. Such things can prove to be a tall order, but Ortiz has every reason in the world to be confident.
The fighter’s record is notable in more ways than one, after all. Not only has Ortiz stopped all his opponents within the distance, he’s been working his way through fighters of note as of late. Mauricio Herrera, Maurice Hooker, Brad Solomon, Egidijus Kavaliauskas – these may not be the names of star attractions, but they are the names of fighters of note nonetheless. And Ortiz has essentially wiped them all out. People are well within their rights to expect Ortiz to win on Saturday. McKinson, of course, has plans of his own in mind.
While he currently may not possess the star power – or rising star power – of Ortliz, the 28 year old has been patiently waiting for a chance to get at Ortiz for a while. A March fight between the two was postponed and now the Englishman is no doubt eager to engage in his second pro fight in America. McKinon’s last ring battle was a decision win over Alex Martin in Los Angeles back in March. Martin wasn’t Ortiz, but at least McKinon got to earn himself a win on US soil. What’s interesting about this weekend’s bout is McKinon is as much a boxer as Ortiz is a slugger…for McKinon has only scored 2 knockouts in all of his 22 bouts.
The 27-2-3 Maurice Hooker will be on Saturday’s card as well. He’ll be squaring off against the 15-1-1 Blair Cobbs in a scheduled 10 rounder at welterweight. The 21-1 WBA and WBC women’s flyweight champion, Marlen Esparza, will also be making a ring appearance. Her opponent will be 19-1-1 Eva Guzman. Their bout is scheduled for 10 two minute rounds. This weekend’s Ortiz-McKinon card will start airing at 9PM eastern time Saturday on the DAZN streaming service.