VERGIL ORTIZ tore into Maurice Hooker with a furious intensity to make sure of seven-round victory at the Dickies Arena in Forth Worth.
Ortiz set a fierce pace from the first round, tearing into the former champion as he cranked out straight one-twos, his right blasting through Hooker’s guard. Ortiz cracked his fellow Texan with left hooks. For Maurice too many of these shots were finding their mark early.
But Hooker did withstand them at first. He prodded jabs back and clipped Ortiz with a good hook. He caught Vergil on the end of a flurry of shots and in the fourth round slammed a fine cross into Ortiz’s jaw.
Marked up going into the fifth round Ortiz was still unsparing in his aggression. He piled into Hooker again, hurtful body shots sinking in and opening up Hooker’s defences.
He sliced a double jab through Hooker’s gloves in the sixth round and a flush cross saw Maurice sink down to the canvas. He survived the following onslaught but 36 seconds into the seventh round, Ortiz clumped him round the side of the head with another right. Stunned, Hooker turned away, falling to his knees and complaining of a hand injury. It was over.
No one has taken Ortiz, now a perfect 17-0 (17), past the seventh round. At just 22 he has proven himself a world level contender.
“I believe in myself, I’m ready for a title shot,” Vergil declared.
He called for a shot at brilliant WBO champion Terence Crawford. “I don’t care if I’m ready or not,” Ortiz said. “I want that fight.”
On the undercard Seneisia Estrada won the WBO minimumweight world title, dropping Anabel Ortiz in the first round and dominating to make sure of a unanimous decision win.