Fort Worth, Texas – Unbeaten puncher Vergil Ortiz Jr picked up yet another fantastic victory as he stopped former world champion Maurice Hooker in the seventh round of their welterweight showdown.
The fight started at a rapid pace, as Ortiz (17-0, 17 KOs) was aggressive from the very first bell, throwing power shot after power shot that Hooker (27-2-3, 18 KOs) was able to deal with.
There was plenty of give and take, with Hooker landing plenty of punches of his own to mark up the face of Ortiz.
The end was near towards the end of round six, with Ortiz landing a combination of hard punches to score a knockdown. Hooker managed to get back to his feet and decided to trade until the round came to a close.
The finish came just 30 seconds into round seven, with Hooker going down for a second time as they were trading punches. It wasn’t fully clear if Hooker went down from a hand injury or a hard punch, but he indicated to the referee that he was unable to continue.
A close friend and stablemate of Hooker, WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, was in the building to witness the fight – and the 22-year-old Ortiz made it clear that he would love that fight next.
Ortiz said: “I believe in myself and I think I’m ready for a title shot. Terence Crawford is possibly the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but I want that fight.
“I want to thank Maurice for giving me this opportunity. He didn’t have to take this fight. I feel like I’m a problem at 147-pounds, so I give him props for stepping up.
“I felt like I did pretty good in there, but there is always room for improvement. He showed me that he was durable and can take a punch, but I knew what to do. The gameplan was to slow him down and I neutralized him.”