Vergil Ortiz Officially Set to Fight Samuel Vargas in Golden Boy’s First Post-Coronavirus Fight Card

Vergil Ortiz is officially ready to rumble…

As previously expected, the 22-year-old highly regarded Mexican American welterweight will face veteran Samuel Vargas on July 24 in Golden Boy‘s first fight card since the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to boxing events across the world in mid-March.

Vergil Ortiz Jr.

The card will take place at the Fantasy Springs Casino Resortin Indio, California.

“We’re just excited, happy to be back with our fighters,” said Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions

“Especially a guy like Vergil who was scheduled to fight before the shutdown. He was 10 days out from fighting, so I’m just happy he gets to fight again, and we’re back at it.”

For the time being, Golden Boy’s cards in California will be held without an audience.

Ortiz (15-0, 15 KOs) is considered one of boxing’s best young fighters. The Grand Prairie, Texas native has stopped everyone he has faced thus far as a professional. In 2019, Ortiz stopped Mauricio Herrera in three rounds, and then Antonio Orozco in six.

Ortiz and Vargas were originally scheduled to clash on March 28 at The Forumin Inglewood, California, before that card was canceled.

“I’m very thankful and excited to be headlining the first Golden Boy event after the quarantine,” said Ortiz, who has been training with Robert Garcia in Riverside for the past few weeks. “I’m happy that it’s still with the same opponent, so basically we’re picking up where we left off. It’s going to be a tough fight, and it’ll be a great way to kick off the year for me.”

Ortiz is facing a seasoned veteran in Vargas (31-5-2, 14 KOs), who has faced Amir KhanLuis CollazoDanny Garcia and Errol Spence over the course of his career.

“I think that everything happens for a reason,” said Vargas, who has been in Las Vegas in recent weeks, preparing for this bout. “I think this time off benefited me. I’m ready to upset the world. I believe I can come out with the win. The world is a weird place right now. The show will be different. There will be no fans, but I have no doubt I’m going to win.”

As Golden Boy officials began to put this card together, they found a rather limited pool of options to draw from, in terms of selecting boxers.

“There’s a lot of guys that just weren’t ready,” Gomez said. “They hadn’t been to the gym because [gyms] were closed, they didn’t train, do road work, sparring or anything. Now it’s a little better, but we’re not in the clear yet.”

The co-feature scheduled for July 24 is a 10-round lightweight contest between Hector Tanajara (19-0, 5 KOs) and Mercito Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KOs). Other fights include an eight-round middleweight bout between Shane Mosley Jr. (15-3, 9 KOs) and Jeremy Ramos (11-8, 2 KOs), a women’s junior flyweight fight between Seniesa Estrada (18-0, 7 KOs) and Jacky Calvo(12-5-2, 1 KO), and a clash between prospects Hector Valdez and Evan Sanchez.

There’s no indication when spectators will be allowed back into any sporting events, and from Golden Boy’s perspective, the hope at this point is just to try to get the first few cards off the ground smoothly.

“It’s hard to say. It’s scary. You’ve seen the numbers, they’ve been rising again,” Gomez said. “There have been surges in Florida, here in California. I don’t know what the governor is going to decide. I just hope we don’t get shut down again.”

Alvarez & Cesar Chavez Jr. to Face Off in Las Vegas over Cinco de Mayo Weekend

Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. are headed to Sin City…

The all-Mexican mega showdown between the rival boxers on May 6, Cinco de Mayo weekend, will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, according to Golden Boy Promotions.

Canelo Alvarez & Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Golden Boy said it had also been in talks to potentially put on the fight at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas.

Alvarez knocked out Liam Smith at the arena in September, on Mexican Independence Day weekend, to win a junior middleweight world title before a crowd of 51,240, the biggest of the three fight cards to take place at the stadium.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was interested in hosting the Alvarez-Chavez fight, a much bigger event than Alvarez-Smith, but Golden Boy said it got a sweeter deal from MGM Resorts International and AEG, which owns T-Mobile Arena.

“When my team and I talked about where to hold what will be the biggest fight of the first half of the year, we kept coming back to Las Vegas,” Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. “The biggest fights of the last 30-plus years have taken place in Vegas, and it is a natural home for this enormous event.”

On Cinco de Mayo weekend in 2016, Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs), 26, opened the T-Mobile Arena for boxing with a thunderous sixth-round knockout of Amir Khan to retain the middleweight world title before a crowd of 16,540. Alvarez then vacated his middleweight championship and returned to his more natural junior middleweight division to face Smith.

“I love fighting in Las Vegas, where the most important fights have historically been, and I’m very happy to be back at the T-Mobile Arena for this huge event on Cinco de Mayo weekend,” Alvarez said. “I know that people from all over the world, America, obviously Mexico and everywhere else will attend to witness a great show.”

Chavez (50-2-1, 32 KOs), 30, has not boxed in Las Vegas since Sept. 15, 2012, when he scored a 12th-round knockdown of Sergio Martinez on Mexican Independence Day weekend but was otherwise dominated in a one-sided decision loss that cost him his middleweight world title belt.

“I’m happy to return to Las Vegas, where I’ve had many important battles in the ring,” Chavez said. “Las Vegas is the home of boxing.”

The 12-round non-title fight will be contested at a catchweight of 164.5 pounds and headline an HBO PPV card (9 p.m. ET). Alvarez is moving up about 10 pounds for the fight, and Chavez, who has been fighting at super middleweight/light heavyweight, will come down about 6 pounds from the weight he has generally been fighting at.

Garcia Defeats Amir Khan to Claim WBA Title

Danny Garcia is still undefeated…

The 24-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer beat heavy favorite Amir Khan in the fourth round to stay undefeated and add another super lightweight belt to his collection on Saturday night.

Danny Garcia

“I always knew I would win this fight,” said Garcia. “I needed a great fighter in front of me to show how great a fighter I am. Now everyone knows.”

Khan bruised Garcia early, even opening a small cut above his eye. But Garcia sent Khan to the canvas in the third round with a left hook, although the 2004 Olympic silver medalist for Britain was able to beat the count.

At the start of the fourth, though, Garcia swarmed him with power punches, knocking him down twice quickly. Khan got back to his feet each time, but the referee ended the bout at 2:28 of the round.

“It wasn’t my night,” said Khan. “I was coming in with my hands down and Danny took advantage of that. He countered very well against me.”

Danny Garcia

Garcia now has the World Boxing Association (WBA) title to go along with his World Boxing Council (WBC) one. He improved his record to 24-0 with 15 knockouts while Khan fell to 26-3 with 18 KOs.

Khan was originally scheduled to face Lamont Peterson on May 19th in a rematch of their December 10th bout in which Peterson took a 12-round split decision to win Khan’s WBA and IBF titles.

Just days before the bout, Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone.

The fight was canceled and he was stripped of his WBA title which was later restored to Khan.

Garcia, who beat Erik Morales for the WBC title on March 24 agreed to fight Khan and took full advantage of the opportunity, defeating the popular fighter in spectacular fashion.