Undefeated Welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz Jr punished seasoned vet Samuel Vargas to earn his 16th KO after an explosive one-sided seventh round in the main event of Golden Boy Promotions’ first card during the Covid-19 pandemic
INDIO, CA (July 24, 2020) — Golden Boy Promotions became boxing’s second major promoter to resume operations with a crowd-free event held at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif. The card streamed on DAZN USA app and featured a main event with undefeated Welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz Jr against veteran Samuel Vargas.
Ortiz entered the fight having stopped all 15 of his opponents. This assignment presented Vargas with another shot at a fighter looking to establish himself as one of the division’s elite. Vargas lost fights inside the distance to unified champion Errol Spence Jr and two-division champion Danny Garcia in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
As a memorial, a 10-bell salute to the late Travell “Black Magic” Mazion and trainer Naazim Richardson preceded the ring walks of Ortiz and Vargas. At just 24-years old Mazion, a Super Welterweight signed to Golden Boy, passed away late-evening on July 16 in Austin, Texas as a result of an accident involving multiple vehicles.
Richardson, 54, was a highly respected trainer and a pillar in the Philadelphia boxing scene. The cause of death is unknown, but he suffered a stroke in 2007, and dealt with illnesses over the remainder of his career while training fighters like Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley Sr.
Once the fight was underway, both fighters worked their way into the fight with jabs and lighter shots until around the :40 mark in the first when Ortiz unloaded a powerful combination of shots. Vargas remained in the pocket.
Vargas marched forward, staying close to Ortiz in round two, firing away with hooks to the body with both hands. Both men shot jabs over the final minute of the round.
Ortiz out jabbed and slipped Vargas’ jab before exploding at the top of the final minute. A third straight right hand snapped Vargas’ head around.
Ortiz coasted through most of round four before landing a pair of left hooks wobbled Vargas. As Vargas backed up Ortiz pursued to fire off another combination to dominate the final minute of action. Vargas laid on the ropes and rolled with some of Ortiz’ shots while slipping in some uppercuts to the body. Referee Jack Reiss requested the Dr. visit Vargas’ corner during the break.
Vargas scored some points through the majority of the fifth round before Ortiz landed a some power jabs as the best work from a measured attack.
Ortiz opened the subsequent round more aggressively. He landed a right cross that turned Vargas’ head. He added a counter right hand to the side of Vargas’ head before the bell.
Vargas found himself in trouble in the seventh round after a short left uppercut he caught up against the ropes. Several seconds later Vargas tackled Ortiz to disrupt the onslaught from the younger fighter. Reiss appeared to be ready to step in to stop the fight at any moment – as Vargas stood behind his guard not punching back. Just as it appeared Vargas would survive the punishing round, Reiss stepped in and halted the fight a split-second before the bell. The stoppage is Ortiz’ 16th KO in just as many fights.
After the impressive win Ortiz named Danny Garcia or Keith Thurman as potential targets, stating that he is here to take risks, and that he accepts the fact he’s campaigning in the most difficult division in boxing.
In the co-main event Shane Mosley Jr returned to action for the first time since August. Jeremy Ramos, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, got out of the gate a little slower than Mosley but came on in the second frame. Ramos (11-9, 4 KOs) landed some good shots to Mosely’s head when the Contender participant stayed inside too long.
The back in forth action in the second and third round indicated the will of both fighters could be tested over the scheduled eight rounds. Mosely attacked the body, and Ramos looked to get his respect by connecting up top.
Ramos’ steadiness appeared to decline late in the fourth, and even more after taking a big right hand, standing center-ring, in the fifth round.
Mosley opened the subsequent round working his jab and scoring from outside. The focus was short-lived and by round’s end Ramos scored a left hook that snapped Mosely’s head. Headed into the round, Mosley was credited with a 138-63 lead in punches landed.
In the seventh round Mosley boxed for his longest stretch in the fight. Ramos’ output declined. Mosley popped his jab to score and jumped back to evade Ramos’ counters.
Mosley sat down on a pair of hooks to the body early in the final round. Ramos failed to land any shots that were more telling in a fight that was slipping away from him. The judges’ scorecards of 79-73, 80-72 and 80-72 awarded the 29-year old California native a unanimous decision for his 16th win.
Seniesa Estrada met Miranda Adkins just a few steps beyond the 42-year old Topeka, Kansas native’s corner. Estrada quickly unleashed a pair of punishing combinations that included right hooks to the body followed by clean left hooks to Adkins’ chin. After just seven seconds, a right hand after the second left hook brought the fight to a close.
Estrada improved to 19-0 with her ninth KO, and awaits the opportunity to parley her WBC Silver Light Flyweight title into a world championship. Adkins dropped to 5-1, after stopping four opponent’s in their debut fights, along with a fifth KO versus her last opponent who held an 0-2 record.
Hector Valdez vs Josue Morales
Super Bantamweights Hector Valdez and Josue Morales, a southpaw from Houston, Texas, entered the ring scheduled for eight rounds. Valdez (13-0, 8 KOs) struck first and often in the first round. Morales established his fight in the second and third rounds. In the third round, especially, he stood his ground and avoided being caught on the ropes where Valdez could fire off his up and down combinations.
Valdez’ offense returned in both the fourth and fifth round. Morales (11-12-4, 1 KO) remained composed under the pressure, but in failing to punch with Valdez the scoring gap widened.
Morales found an opening for a solid left hand early in round seven. Valdez responded with a series powerful right hands over the next two minutes. Morales either backed out or turned Valdez before anything damaging could be added on the end.
In the final round Valdez continued to fire away with his entire arsenal. Morales landed a pair of sweeping left hands to Valdez’ head, but left few openings that could be exploited for any kind of a big finish. After staying committed to a balanced attack, and working with the looks Morales gave him, Valdez was awarded a unanimous decision with scorecards of 80-72, 80-72 and 79-73.
Evan Sanchez vs Issouf Kinda
Evan Sanchez, a 6-foot tall 22-year old southpaw Welterweight, took the fight to Issouf Kinda immediately. He stalked Kinda with a probing right jab when not studying from his shell defense. Kinda (18-5, 7 KOs) circled the ring staying outside through the first two rounds. Sanchez (8-0, 6 KOs) remained focused on bigger power shots through the first three rounds.
Sanchez opened the fourth frame in an orthodox stance but only remained in it briefly. Moments later he clipped Kinda with a shot to the top of the head. Kinda dropped to a knee signaling an illegal shot, but referee Ray Corona viewed it as a knockdown, and started a count.
Kinda stood up before the end of the count, finished the round and even started marching towards Sanchez in the following round. Coming off of a three year break from action, the Bronx resident never managed to follow up some solid shots inside with enough work to hand Sanchez his first loss.
Sanchez, in his first fight under the Golden Boy Promotions banner, never found the clean shots to the head he looked for earlier in the fight. However, his constant pressure and body work impressed the judges enough to earn scorecards of 59-54, 58-55 and 60-53 for a unanimous decision.