Vergil Ortiz says his KO streak could give people wrong idea about him

·2 min read

Vergil Ortiz doesn’t care much about getting knockouts.

Stoppages are nice, they build fanbases, but the welterweight contender is focused more on winning fights and targeting the best potential opponents in one of the sport’s glamour divisions.

And there are drawbacks to stopping all 18 of your opponents, as Ortiz has done. People start to think of you as a slugger, a guy who evidently relies primarily on his unusual punching power to succeed.

Ortiz believes he brings more than the ability to stop opponents to the table.

“Everyone wants to do as good as possible in their fights,” said the Texan, who faces Michael McKinson on Saturday in Fort Worth (DAZN). “And that’s usually with a knockout. As far as being concerned about keeping [the KO streak] alive? I’m not going to lie, I really don’t care.

“It’s a good thing. I’m grateful for having it; I’m kind of known for that. [But] it’s kind of a blessing and a cruse at the same time. It’s just like a lot of people now only see me as some reckless punching machine that only goes in for the knockout, who can’t think.

“… That’s not the kind of fighter I am. If anything, a lot of my knockouts have come from me actually thinking and exploiting their weaknesses and stuff like that. I’m not really worried about getting a knockout in this fight or not.”

Ortiz was scheduled to fight McKinson (22-0, 2 KOs) in January but Ortiz had to pull out after contracting a condition in which his muscle fibers break down and release a damaging protein into his blood stream, which can result from extreme exercise.

He has recovered and is eager to get back into the ring, both to continue his pursuit of his dreams and demonstrate again to his doubters that he’s the genuine article.

“There’s been a lot of people doubting me,” he said. “I feel that’s really stupid of them because if there’s one thing I’m good at doing – and it’s probably the only thing I’m good at doing – it’s boxing. It’s not like [the criticism] bothers me but it does bother me, that people are doubting.

“I’m just going to have to show them, I guess. What else can I do? I’m not going to talk to every heckler on Twitter and Instagram. I’m going to box.”

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Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie