Vergil Ortiz Jr. (18-0, 18 KOs) retains his WBO International Welterweight Title and gets closer to a world title shot after his knock out defeat of the Lithuanian Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (22-2-1, 18 KOs). The scheduled 12-round fight was hosted at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, and was streamed live on DAZN. The event featured a night full of action as the Lithuanian went after Ortiz, Jr. early in the fight and caught him in the second round, where Ortiz, Jr. met the canvas but was ruled a slip by the judges. Ortiz, Jr. returned and both fighters openly exchanged blows during an exciting second round that brought the chanting crowd onto its feet.

The action continued in the third round, as Ortiz, Jr. knocked down Kavaliaskas and pursued him aggressively throughout the round. In the next rounds, the fighters gave each other some space, as Vergil began to use an effective jab on Kavaliaskas, catching him several times straight in the face. By the eighth round, Ortiz, Jr. effectively dominated Kavaliauskas, dropping the former Olympian four times to win the fight at the 2:59 mark of the eighth round.

Ortiz said, “I feel good. The fight started off slow in my opinion and I just had to adjust. After the second round, I had to adjust and try to find a way to wear him down. I started using my jab more and fought more intelligently. After the third round, I felt more confident because I knew that I could control the fight moving forward. But he is a tough guy, a very strong fighter, and I respect that he came to fight.”

“I came here to fight, I was sure I would stop him. I prepared myself so hard to be ready for this fight. I was 100% in shape, I was fast, I was strong. But you know, it is what it is, today he was stronger, he is a tremendous fighter. He has good power and good speed, good jab, good technique, he is a good fighter. I was thinking that I was going to end the fight in the second round, but he survived. He is a warrior,” said Kavaliauskas.

Photo by Stacey Msnyder /

Vergil Ortiz Jr. (16-0, 16 KOs) and Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (27-1-3, 19 KOs) hosted a final press conference today ahead of their 12-round fight for the WBO International Welterweight Title. The action will take place this Saturday, March 20, at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN worldwide, including the U.S. and Mexico.

Below is what today’s main event participants had to say at the press conference:

“I’m very thankful to be fighting back at home again, especially after fighting in a bubble last year. It was a really cool experience. I found that I really love the fans. I enjoy the fans. So, what better place to come back and fight than in the Dallas Fort Worth area?”

“This fight is really special to me. I asked for this fight at 140 pounds. He was a good fighter then, and he is a good fighter now. I want to fight for the best. The only way to be the best is to fight the best. I feel very confident. I have the confidence of my promoter and team behind me. I had a great camp, and I am ready to go.”

“We will find out on Saturday if my power and size will be too much for him. I have never been in the ring with him before, so I don’t know how he will take it. But it’s not just power with me. It’s not just my physical attributes. My best attribute is my thinking ability, and I’m going to do a lot of that on Saturday.”

“This is going to be one of the first fights in Dallas between two world-class natives of the area. We are going to put on a really great show. I’m really excited about it. We’ve trained really hard, and I hope you all enjoy the show.”

“This fight will mean everything to me. I’m happy to be back at home where fans at home can see me. And it’s great to give to the fans something special after all they have been going through.”

“I have been watching Vergil Ortiz for a while now. I have been supporting him since he started because he is from Dallas. His 16-0 with 16 knockouts don’t mean anything to me until we get in the ring. I mean, it’s cute, but we will see in the ring.”

“I’m excited. My team is excited. I’ve worked hard. The fact that I’ve been called the underdog has pushed me more. I’ve prepared well for this fight. I’m going to go in the ring, do my business, and have fun with it.”

“Everyone is saying that he is the next big thing in the welterweight division. And he is. But first, he has to get past Maurice Hooker, and that is no easy test. This is a real fight and a tough test for him. If he beats him, he will go straight to the top of the division, where there are many big fights to make. I can’t say who I want him to see next because this Saturday’s fight is a big test.”

“Hooker’s style, abilities, and experience make him dangerous. He’s going to show Vergil different angles. It’s a different style than what Vergil has faced in the past. But Vergil has a great corner. He is a great fighter and has a great team. They’ve studied Maurice. So that’s why I feel this will be an amazing fight.”

Ortiz Jr. vs. Hooker is a 12-round fight for the WBO International Welterweight Championship presented by Golden Boy. Hennessy sponsors the event “Never Stop. Never Settle” and “BetOnline – Your Online Sportsbook Experts.” On Saturday, March 20, the fight will take place at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN worldwide, including the U.S. and Mexico.

Tickets for Ortiz Jr. vs. Hooker are on sale and are priced at $200, $100, $60, and $40, not including applicable service charges and taxes. Tickets will be available for purchase at or

Photos by Sye Williams/Golden Boy

A hometown battle between two Dallas, Texas natives will take place on March 20 as Vergil Ortiz Jr. (16-0, 16 KOs) and former world champion Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (27-1-3, 19 KOs) clash in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBO International Welterweight Title.

The bout will headline a card that includes the Unites States debut of heavyweight monster Arslanbek “Lion” Makhmudov and a world title clash between Anabel “Avispa” Ortiz and Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada.

Information regarding the venue will be announced shortly as it is pending commission approval. The fights will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN worldwide, including the U.S., Mexico, and Russia.

“On his rapid ascent from prospect to contender, Vergil has absolutely blown away everyone we have put in front of him, including a former world champion,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman, and CEO of Golden Boy.

“But with a win over Maurice Hooker, just one fight removed from a significant title reign, on March 20, Vergil can stamp his ticket to a world championship fight.”

Since debuting as a professional in 2016, Ortiz Jr. has knocked out every single person who has stepped into the ring with him. The native of Grand Prairie, Texas, who has roots in Michoacan, Mexico, has scored stoppage wins against the likes of Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera, Antonio “Relentless” Orozco, Brad “King” Solomon, and Samuel Vargas.

The 22-year-old contender has been wanting to fight Hooker for some time, and he’s eager to demonstrate his abilities against a former world champion.

“First and foremost, I’m really grateful to be fighting back at home again,” said Vergil Ortiz Jr. “Not only that, but I’ll be fighting another Dallas native in Maurice Hooker.

I’ve known Hooker since back in the amateur days. I know we’re going to give the fans back at home a night to remember.”

Hooker is a 31-year-old former world champion who traveled to the United Kingdom to defeat Terry “Turbo” Flanagan and capture the 140-pound WBO title. Then, Hooker scored big wins against undefeated contenders Mikkel “Slikk Mikk” LesPierre and Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo before suffering his first loss in an epic unification fight against Jose Carlos Ramirez.

Now at welterweight, Hooker plans to derail Ortiz’s meteoric rise by putting an end to their long-standing rivalry.

“I’ve never been one to shy away from a fight,” said Maurice Hooker. “The decision to fight Ortiz was an easy one as it allows me to prove to the world something that I already know—that I’m one of the best welterweights in the world.

I have a new team around me who has taken my game to a whole new level, and I feel amazing at this weight class. I can’t wait to put on a show for all the fans on March 20. Dallas, get ready!”

In the co-main event, Arslanbek “Lion” Makhmudov (11-0, 11 KOs) will make his highly anticipated United States debut in a 10-round defense of his NABF heavyweight title in a bout presented by Golden Boy and Eye of the Tiger Management.

The 31-year-old Russian is on the fast track to a world title, and he already has his eyes set on the biggest names of the division.

Two-division champion Anabel “Avispa” Ortiz (31-3, 4 KOs) of Mexico City, Mexico and former flyweight champion Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (19-0, 8 KOs) of East Los Angeles, California will meet in an epic 10-round fight for Ortiz’s WBA Minimumweight World Title.

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Ortiz is eager to make a statement in her United States debut, while Estrada looks to accomplish her dream of becoming a world champion in more than one division.

Luis “Matador” Hernandez (21-0, 19 KOs) of Chihuahua, Mexico will participate in a 10-round super lightweight battle against Alex Martin (15-3, 6 KOs) of Chicago, Illinois.

George Rincon (10-0, 7 KOs) of Dallas, Texas will return in an eight-round super lightweight fight against a soon-to-be-announced opponent.

Hector Valdez (13-0, 8 KOs) of Dallas, Texas will face Alberto Torres (11-3-3, 4 KOs) of Sacramento, California in an eight-round super bantamweight battle.

Oscar Acevedo (7-0) of Garden City, Kansas, and James “Crunch Time” Willkins (9-1-0, 6 KOs) of Staten Island, New York will meet in an eight-round super featherweight bout between two Golden Boy prospects.

Ortiz Jr. vs Hooker is a 12-round fight for the WBO International Welterweight Championship presented by Golden Boy. The event is sponsored by Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle” and “BetOnline – Your Online Sportsbook Experts.” The fight will take place on Saturday, March 20 in Dallas, Texas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN worldwide, including the U.S., Mexico, and Russia.