Vergil Ortiz remains perfect.
The hard-punching welterweight contender from Dallas stopped Michael McKinson in the ninth round Saturday night at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, giving Ortiz 19 knockouts in as many fights.
McKinson, a tricky boxer from England, was competitive for most of the fight. However, Ortiz gradually closed the distance and began to land heavy punches in the second half of the scheduled 12-rounder.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) August 7, 2022
The beginning of the end was a left to the body that forced McKinson (22-1, 2 KOs) to drop to all fours with about 30 seconds remaining in Round 8.
McKinson danced the rest of the round to survive until the bell and was able to come out for Round 9. He didn’t last long, though. In the first few seconds Ortiz landed another punch to the same spot and McKinson dropped again.
Again he got up and continued to fight, but his trainer signaled to the referee that he wanted the fight stopped and he complied.
The official time of the stoppage was 27 seconds into the ninth round.
Ortiz had mixed feelings afterward.
“It wasn’t my best performance,” he said. “The first seven rounds, I didn’t really do anything good. I should have listened to my corner in the opening rounds. Once I listened to them, we were able to get the job done.”
The victory is another step toward the 24-year-old Ortiz’s immediate goal, to fight for a major welterweight title. He’s ranked in the Top 3 of all four major sanctioning bodies. So his time is coming.
“I am ready to fight anyone,” he said. “I stay training. I’ll probably be ready for a run by tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, McKinson felt good about his performance.
“I am proud to represent my country and my hometown of Portsmouth,” he said. “Not a lot of fighters were lining up to fight Vergil, and I am proud of being able to show that I can fight at this level.
“When I entered the ring, there were a lot of boos, but I must have done something right to be walking out with cheers for my performance.”