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Vergil Ortiz Jr. is on verge of breakthrough but must focus on Brad Solomon

Canelo Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev - Weigh-In
Vergil Ortiz Jr.
(Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos / Golden Boy)

Vergil Ortiz Jr.’s New Year’s resolution is to improve his focus.

“I’m all over the place,” said the 21-year-old, who is thought to be one of boxing’s next big stars.

“I’m good at all of the things that I try, but I try so many things that I’m not fully able to advance. I want to stick to one thing.”

Ortiz said he likes to read, but then he’ll put down the book and reach for his guitar instead. Now, he’s putting down the guitar and wants to improve his piano skills.

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His hobbies may be all over the place, but his budding professional boxing career is not.

Ortiz (14-0, 14 KOs) is on the verge of a breakthrough in 2020, with his sights set on facing the likes of Terence Crawford, Danny Garcia or Keith Thurman, if he’s given the opportunity.

Vergil Ortiz Jr. knocks down Mauricio Herrera in the second round of their welterweight fight May 4 in Las Vegas.
Vergil Ortiz Jr. knocks down Mauricio Herrera in the second round of their welterweight fight May 4 in Las Vegas.
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

First, the Texas-reared, Robert Garcia-trained welterweight will have to get through Brad Solomon (28-1, 9 KOs) at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio on Friday. The main card will be streamed on DAZN at 6 p.m.

Ortiz’s fights last a little over two rounds on average. His exploits, most recently against credible contender Antonio Orozco in August, have caught the attention of his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, who crowned him above Ryan Garcia as the best fighter in his Golden Boy Promotions stable.

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The 36-year-old Solomon, who has fought 191 career rounds compared to Ortiz’s 33, will provide the fighter yet another confidence-building test as he focuses on gaining top-contender status.

“These knockouts are coming because I’m not worried about them anymore,” Ortiz said. “Everyone has power. I just make my punches count.”

Another highlight-reel KO on Friday, followed by a top-tier opponent, could catapult his career and help him zero in on his potential.


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