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Ortiz vs Hooker preview, predictions, who wins the fight?

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Vergil Ortiz Jr looks to continue his ascent, with Maurice Hooker looking to turn him back in Texas on Saturday.

Sye Williams/Golden Boy

Rising prospect Vergil Ortiz Jr looks to stay unbeaten on Saturday, facing former 140-pound titlist Maurice Hooker in a welterweight main event on DAZN (9 pm ET).

Can Ortiz keep it rolling as he moves toward a possible title fight with Terence “Bud” Crawford in the next year or so, or will Hooker send him back to the drawing board?

Scott Christ (12-5-1)

Maurice Hooker’s a good fighter, I think he’s got the ability to fight at 147, but the move up in weight is not going to really do him any favors, and Vergil Ortiz has been not just a big puncher or destroyer plowing through dudes so far, he’s shown great skill and a strong approach. He’s a smart fighter, he’s a patient fighter, calm and doesn’t go nuts. He finishes well, but he finishes when he knows he can, doesn’t go crazy.

Hooker will have a reach advantage, but I’m not sure he’ll really use it effectively, or that he can. Hooker has some dog in him, when he’s hurt he’ll fight, and Ortiz is going to hurt him unless Hooker boxes not just well, but perfectly, and differently than he really ever has before. Ortiz is one of my favorite young fighters in the sport, maybe my absolute favorite. I think this is a real deal rising star, and he’ll show it again. Ortiz TKO-6

Wil Esco (12-5-1)

You know, I’d like to think this will be a good, competitive fight between Vergil Ortiz and Maurice Hooker, but I just can’t help but feel like things might tilt Ortiz’s way pretty early. Hooker was a pretty good puncher at 140, but at 147 the jury is still out and I just don’t think he has enough facets to his game to give Ortiz big trouble. Hooker usually comes to rumble so I think there will be good action in spots, but I heavily favor Ortiz to make out much better in those exchanges and this certainly doesn’t strike me as the type to last a full 12. To me, I think this fight should be pretty fun while it lasts but I expect Ortiz to start inflicting some real damage by the fourth round which will make things go downhill for Hooker, fast. I’m going to take Vergil Ortiz to have a statement win in this outing by the mid-rounds. Ortiz TKO-6


How to Watch Ortiz vs Hooker

Date: Saturday, Mar. 20 | Start Time: 9:00 pm ET
Location: Dickens Arena - Fort Worth, TX
Streaming: DAZN
Online Coverage: BadLeftHook.com


Patrick L. Stumberg (11-6-1)

As it did against Ramirez, what makes Hooker fun to watch will spell his downfall. “Mighty Mo” likes operating at mid- to long-range, but responds to incursions by throwing heat instead of circling out and resetting. If he committed to one or the other, he might have a chance, either by exploiting Ortiz’s tendency to shell up and wait out aggressive flurries or by using his insane reach to try and win an outfight. Unless he’s made some serious tweaks during his time away, however, odds are he’s going to end up in a losing firefight.

Hooker is unquestionably a quality fighter, but simply lacks the mindset and toolset necessary to stop the monstrous Ortiz. Though the lesser weight cut will probably leave him a fair bit sturdier than before, Ortiz breaks him down late. Ortiz TKO-8

Lewis Watson (12-5-1)

A slightly shop-worn Hooker is going to have to use his superior reach advantage to stay out of range of the charging bull Ortiz in this one. Can he manage the range over 12 hard championship rounds? I can’t imagine so. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great step-up for Ortiz, but Hooker’s inactivity and miles on the clock could play into the explosive hands of the 22-year-old. Hooker will keep this fight competitive until he walks onto a biggun and falls victim to Ortiz’s 17th straight kayo. Ortiz TKO-9

And the staff winner is...

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

Vergil Ortiz Jr (4-0)!