Written by Tré Berry III | 08/10/2021
Do you like to watch a couple of old school-minded operator’s skip out on the sound-byte’s, and grandstanding that comes with growing stature, who don’t play around when it is time to go Well we are in for a treat, as the Welterweight division will showcase two of its upper echelon talents.
Unbeaten Dallas-bred super talent Vergil Ortiz Jr. (17-0-0, 17KO) is on a meteoric rise in the sport when it comes to the level of skill he has managed to garner at this young an age, the way he goes about his business, and the way he has been able to galvanize attention from the hardcore contingent of boxing fans, who are fully sold on him as being “the goods”, and for legitimate reason, as he has the skill, poise, and mind-frame, to be the next generation’s vanguard.
His opponent hasn’t been able to capture the imagination of boxing fans on that level as a professional, but he is certainly one who is skilled himself, and ranks among the top-10 in that regard in the Welterweight division, a division where there’s little argument against being the division in boxing that harbors the most skilled talent depth in the business.
I am talking about Lithuania’s Egidijus Kavaliauskas (22-1-1, 18KO), who is also known as “The Mean Machine”, which is arguably the best nickname currently in boxing. The manner in which he fights certainly gives credence to his moniker, as one of boxings better finishers.
Vergil Ortiz is only 23 years of age, but per what was eluded to up top, he carries himself far beyond his years, and has the mental disposition of a 40 year old, to pair with a throwback style that he operates with. His precision and accuracy ranks among he best in the sport, and he packs plenty of power in both fists, with his go-to punch being his shovel left hook to the liver, that he rips off with natural ease.
Lately, he has been in step-up mode in terms of his quality of opponents, as he has his eyes on a potential title shot. He ran through veteran Mauricio Herrera with ease & dispatched of Antonio Orozco easier than Jose Ramirez was able to do. Upon Verge’s move up to 147 lbs., he met with talented fellow-Texan former world titlist Maurice “Mo” Hooker.
Verge knew how to diffuse the bombs, and his assertiveness in that bout was impressive, as he methodically picked away at Mo, and broke him down through 8 rounds for the stoppage.
Egidijus (some people call him Egis) is one of those fighters who quietly goes about his business, and has put together a respectable resumé, while showing a level of skill a step further than his accomplishments. Harboring back-to-back wins over David Avanesyan, and Juan Carlos Abreu, Kavaliauskas had a tough back and forth fight against ranked contender “the new” Ray Robinson in 2018 – a bout that was ruled a 10 round draw by the judges. Being that Egis came in as the #1 WBO contender, he maintained his position, and from there he would get a major shot.
He would go on to fight P4P royalty, as he squared off against WBO Welterweight Titlist 🔱🇺🇸Terence “Bud” Crawford, who some people then/now still tour to be the best fighter in the sport. Kavaliauskas, though he was outclassed by Crawford’s brilliance, certainly held his own in many sports, giving credence towards him receiving the opportunity. In the third round, Egis even managed to put Bud on the canvas with a short, well placed right hand, forcing TC to drop to a knee.
For whatever reason, Ref Ricky Gonzalez inaccurately ruled it as a slip, but what had unfolded couldn’t be erased from the memory of onlookers, and is something to note about Kava’s power, and level of ability to get one in on the slickster.
Crawford, as he is accustomed to doing, regrouped, and ramped up the skilled pressure, and took Kavaliauskas out by knockout in the 9th round, administering the Mean Machine’s lone defeat. Egis rebounded well in his next outing by defeating once-beaten Canadian Michael Zewski, dispatching him of 8th round technical knockout victory.
All in all, this is a rather important fight for the Welterweight division in terms of the next faces of the weight class, and the winner may cause some interesting shake-ups…shake-ups that is needed for the ⚖️147 lb. class. Who will emerge victorious❓ We will see on Saturday, April 14th. The fight, and its full card will be broadcast on 💻DAZN’s streaming platform. The contest will be a homecoming for Ortiz Jr. (of sorts), as it will take place in Frisco, Texas, at the 🏟️Ford Center at the Star Arena (Vergil is from Dallas). Tune in to see two top-10 Welterweights put their position on the line, in their personal pursuit towards world title contention.