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Vergil Ortiz on the moment he realised he was even better than he thought he was

Vergil Ortiz
Vergil Ortiz tells Paul Wheeler about the moment people realised he was the real deal, and much more

When and why you started boxing:
I started at the age of five. My dad took me to the gym one day to check it out. I didn’t like it at first because they were just hitting the bags. But we went back the next day and they were sparring. That’s when I realised that I liked the idea of fighting someone. It was exciting.

Favourite all-time fighter:
I have two favourites. One is my stablemate, Jose Ramirez. I grew up watching him in the 2012 Olympics. He was a monster then and he still is now – he’s relentless. The other is Salvador Sanchez. When I was young, my dad showed me who he was. He was a badass fighter.

Best fight you’ve seen:
Victor Ortiz vs Andre Berto I. I want to be in a fight with that kind of excitement. It was a great back-and-forth fight. As soon as one of them started getting on top, the other one would come back and score a knockdown.

Personal career highlight:
My fight against Mauricio Herrera [w ko 3 – May 2019]. That’s when people started realising that I’m the real deal. It was also the moment when I realised that perhaps I’m better than I thought I was. It helped with my confidence.

Toughest opponent:
Samuel Vargas definitely came to fight [w ko 7 – July 2020]. Every time I landed a punch, he tried his best to show that it wasn’t effective.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
My best and worst attribute is the same. I won’t give any context, but it’s that I never stop working hard.

Training tip:
Spar every day, as sparring is where you learn the most.

Favourite meal/restaurant:
My favourite meal is enchiladas, and my favourite restaurant is Texas Roadhouse. I love the sweet tea there. The bread is also great, and the steak too.

Watch Vergil Ortiz’s next fight against Maurice Hooker only on DAZN

Last film/TV show you saw:
The last show I watched was on Netflix. It was called Fate: The Winx Saga. It was really good.

Have you ever been starstruck:
I’ve been starstruck once. Well, it was actually twice within a couple of minutes. It was when I went to a press conference to announce that I’d signed with Golden Boy. It was the same press conference where Canelo Alvarez was announcing his fight against Liam Smith. I saw Canelo getting ready for an interview and I thought to myself, ‘Damn, that’s Canelo!’ Then two minutes later, Oscar De La Hoya came up to me and said hi.

Best advice received:
If you’re ever involved in an argument with someone, remember that it’s you two versus the argument and not you two versus each other.

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