Top welterweight prospect and rising knockout artist Vergil Ortiz Jr will return to action on March 28, facing veteran Samuel Vargas in basically a sideways step, and Golden Boy is stacking the card with solid names if not exactly big matchups.
Here’s a rundown of everyone else who will feature on the card:
- Junior welterweight Pablo Cesar Cano (33-7-1, 23 KO) will take on Michael Perez (25-3-2, 11 KO) in a 12-round bout. The 30-year-old Cano stopped Jorge Linares when Linares attempted to move up to 140 in Jan. 2019, and has won three straight overall. Perez, 30, hasn’t fought since a Dec. 2018 TKO loss to Abdiel Ramirez in a fight where he was up on all three cards in the eighth and final round.
- 122-pound contender Azat Hovhannisyan (18-3, 15 KO) will face Colombia’s Jose Sanmartin (30-5-1, 20 KO) in another 12-round bout. Sanmartin is 0-3 fighting outside of Colombia. Hovhannisyan has won his last four since a 2018 loss to Rey Vargas.
- Welterweight Rashidi Ellis (22-0, 14 KO) faces Sergio Ortega (22-2, 16 KO) in a 10-round fight. This is a stay-busy for Ellis; similar to Ortiz, there just aren’t that many interesting options at welterweight if you’re a Golden Boy fighter, even at a lower level. The 26-year-old Ellis won a wide decision in his rematch with Eddie Gomez last November and will look to tread some water here.
- Seniesa Estrada (18-0, 7 KO) will defend her interim WBA flyweight title against an opponent to be named. Estrada won a technical decision over rival Marlen Esparza in November in her last fight.
- Resurgent middleweight Christopher Pearson (17-2, 12 KO) will be in a 10-round fight. He last fought in May 2019, upsetting Yamaguchi Falcao in Las Vegas. A free agent at the time, he signed a new deal with Golden Boy after the win.
- Prospect Raul Curiel (8-0, 6 KO) will be in against Steve Villalobos (11-1-1, 9 KO) in another 10-rounder at welterweight. Curiel, 24, is stepping up a bit here. The 28-year-old Villalobos dropped Blair Cobbs in his last outing on Aug. 22 before being stopped in the ninth round.
- 154-pound prospect Aaron McKenna (10-0, 6 KO) will be back for his first scheduled eight-round fight.
- Chicago middleweight Chris Ousley (12-0, 9 KO) will take on St. Louis’ Jarvis Williams (8-2-1, 5 KO) in another eight-round bout.
The Ortiz-Vargas card will have plenty of competition for attention that evening, as Top Rank have Artur Beterbiev vs Meng Fanlong on ESPN, and Showtime has a tripleheader topped by Luis Nery vs Aaron Alameda, too.