Vergil Ortiz vs Maurice Hooker Preview & Prediction

Red-hot prospect turned contender Vergil Ortiz takes on his biggest test to date when he faces former World champion Maurice Hooker tonight in Texas. The 22-year-old has won every one of his professional outings by KO, while Hooker is out to prove himself in the 147lbs division, after suffering a KO defeat to Jose Carlos Ramirez in their 2019 unification firefight.

Ortiz looks like an unstoppable force, and is highly regarded as one of the best prospects in World boxing. Which is why the bookies have him as a heavy favourite (1/16) in this fight against Hooker. Although ‘Mighty Mo’ has a bunch more experience than Ortiz, this is only his second fight at the welterweight limit, and has shown previously how vulnerable he can be.

The Unbeaten prodigy will want to deal with his foe tonight in devastating fashion, as he has already set his sights on WBO king Terence Crawford. Ortiz is an old school fighter, no excuses, no messing around, the kid just straight up wants to fight. I think Crawford is a little out of his reach for now, but tonight he has a chance to prove me and many others wrong. I’d much rather see Ortiz face Jaron Ennis, if he should come through his clash against Sergey Lipinets. Those two have had similar careers and are in the same position where they could challenge for a World title at any moment.

The welterweight division is stacked with Crawford, Spence and Ugas holding the crowns amid the vast majority of talent. Hooker, will have his hands full if he wants to make an impact here. I like Hooker’s style, he’s not afraid to go toe-to-toe with you, but also knows when to slip, counter, judge the distance well and play it smart, which is exactly what I expect from him in this fight with Ortiz. Hooker was due to fight Regis Prograis last year, and I’d still love to see that fight if it can be made. But for Prograis to reconsider that crunch clash, Hooker has first got to outsmart the fox, and keep Ortiz at bay in my opinion.

If Hooker has any chance to beat Ortiz, which I think he does (7/1*), then I believe he has to hurt the youngster early. Only then will Ortiz, who is untested at this level start to re-evaluate mid fight and take his time, giving Hooker an advantage by gaining momentum. However what we learned from the Ramirez fight, is that Hooker likes to let his foot off the gas, and that bad habit is likely to creep up again tonight. Ortiz is too big and strong for Hooker, GoldenBoy really know what they’re doing, I think Hooker was the perfect bridging gap for Ortiz to be considered as a top contender in the welterweight division.

Hooker will have his moments, no doubt, but Ortiz will eventually grind down the former World champion. If Hooker has learned from this mistakes then it could see Ortiz in deep waters closing the show in the late rounds (10-12 @ 8/1), if not Ortiz will catch him early (1-4 @ 3/1). Whenever it happens, the KO streak of Ortiz will continue and he’ll make another statement on his way to winning a World title.

*Prices are with Sky Bet.

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Published by Chandler Waller

24-year-old boxing writer and blogger. Putting my thoughts out there daily. Check out fight post.co.uk for my interviews.

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