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Vergil Ortiz Jr vs Maurice Hooker reportedly set for Mar. 27 on DAZN

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The rising welterweight star will face a former junior welterweight titleholder next month.

Vergil Ortiz Jr v Antonio Orozco Photo By Tom Hogan/Golden Boy/Getty Images

As had been rumored and expected before, it looks like we will indeed see Vergil Ortiz Jr take on Maurice Hooker in a DAZN main event on Saturday, Mar. 27, as Mike Coppinger reports that the fight has been “agreed” between the combatants.

Ortiz (16-0, 16 KO) is a real rising star at 147 pounds, but has limited options as a Golden Boy fighter, with most of the division’s top fighters with PBC, sort of a “lite” version of the issue Terence Crawford has faced the last few years.

But the 22-year-old Ortiz has faced acceptable veteran tests for his experience level, and passed each one with flying colors, stopping Mauricio Herrera, Antonio Orozco, Brad Solomon, and Samuel Vargas in his last four outings. The Vargas bout was the last one, coming in July 2020.

Hooker (27-1-3, 18 KO) is a 31-year-old former WBO titleholder at 140 pounds, and this will be his first real fight at 147. He won his belt in 2018, beating Terry Flanagan for the vacant title on the road in England, and defended successfully against Alex Saucedo and Mikkel LesPierre in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

He lost the belt in a fire fight with Jose Ramirez in July 2019, with Ramirez unifying the WBC and WBO titles in victory. Hooker came back at a catchweight between 140 and 147 in Dec. 2019, beating Uriel Perez via first round TKO in a nothing fight.

There had been discussions to make a fight between Hooker and fellow former 140 titlist Regis Prograis, and the fight was at one point set for Apr. 2020. But COVID scrapped it, and then it didn’t come together, with Hooker abandoning the idea in June.

On paper, this could be a terrific fight, a couple of Texans, one on the way up, the other figures to still be plenty capable and not quite “old” yet. Hooker is a fearless fighter in the ring, but Ortiz is heavy-handed and skilled.

Does Ortiz pass another test, or can Hooker trip him up?