Sunday, March 3, 2024
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Boxing Preview: Virgil Ortiz (19-0-0 19 KOs) vs Fredrick Lawson (30-3-0 22 KOs)

Merely a hop, skip, and a jump away from his grand entrance into a new boxing division, the still-unscratched Vergil Ortiz, Jr. (19-0, 19 KOs), hailing from the wildly exciting Grand Prairie, Texas, graced us with his presence at what could only be called a ‘final’ press conference.

This chap is gearing up for a 12-round fight in the super welterweight realm against Fredrick Lawson (30-3, 22 KOs) of Accra, Ghana, who is also tiptoeing into this division. This spectacle is slated for The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on the sixth of January, 2024 at 5p.m. PST.

In what they’re calling the ‘co-main event’ (because why not inflate the importance of everything?), the U.K.’s Ohara “Two Tanks” Davies (25-2, 18 KOs) will throw down his Golden Boy debut in a skirmish against Venezuela’s own Ismael Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KOs). This tussle is for the WBA Super Lightweight Interim World Championship, a title so long it probably needs its own ring, and it’s in cahoots with TGB Promotions.

Joining the ‘making a noise’ brigade as a new Golden Boy recruit, Arnold Barbosa Jr. (28-0, 10 KOs) from El Monte will engage in a 10-round super lightweight scuffle against Xolisani Ndongeni (31-3, 18 KOs) of Eastern Cape, South Africa. To kick off the DAZN broadcast in style, Raul “El Cugar” Curiel (13-0, 11 KOs), the undefeated NABF Welterweight title holder, will square off in a 10-round bout against Elias Diaz (12-1, 7 KOs) of National City, California.

And for the appetizer of the evening, on the preliminary card, Emiliano Gandara of Dallas, Texas, will leap into his professional debut against Timvonte Carson (1-2) of Columbia, South Carolina, in what they are calling a four-round super welterweight fight, because why start small?

Here’s a taste of what the day’s grandiloquent speakers had to say:

VERGIL ORTIZ JR., SUPER WELTERWEIGHT CONTENDER:

“Just a quick holler to everyone who’s put up with me till now. First off, hats off to my dad, my squad, Coach Robert, Coach Hector, and the Golden Boy entourage.”

“I’ve poured my soul into this sport. But here we are, staring down the weigh-in tomorrow. If you’re hesitating on tickets, get over it, because this fight is going down for real. And I’m pumped. Honestly, I’ve never felt this good.”

FREDRICK “GENERAL OKUNKA” LAWSON, SUPER WELTERWEIGHT FIGHTER:

“First things first, a big shout out to the man upstairs. Thanks to Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN for making this circus happen. We’ve had a cracker of a training camp leading up to this shindig. We’re locked and loaded. We’ve chuckled at a few scripts predicting this fight’s outcome. But we’ve got a plan that’ll knock everyone’s socks off. Can’t wait for Saturday.”

BERNARD HOPKINS, GOLDEN BOY PARTNER:

“We’re just trying to outdo ourselves here. Had a blast last year and we’re all revved up for this one. As Oscar eloquently puts it, the future is apparently now.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, GOLDEN BOY CHAIRMAN AND CEO:

“In 2023, Golden Boy was the bell of the ball in boxing. We threw the top two shindigs of the year, outdid everyone in PPV, and raised more newbies than a boxing nursery. 2024 is shaping up to be even more bombastic, starting with this extravaganza on Saturday.”

“Since the dawn of this year, I’ve been parroting that the future starts today. Kicking off with Vergil, Barboza, and Davies this Saturday, we’re looking at a whole parade of Golden Boy fighters ready to duke it out for world championships. It’s the most tickled I’ve been about a year of boxing in, well, ever.”

Speaking of Vergil Ortiz Jr., this 25-year-old’s fists are like lightning – they strike hard and don’t miss. He’s been on a tear since his 2016 debut, leaving a trail of KO’d adversaries, including the likes of Orozco, Solomon, and Hooker. His last showdown? An electrifying 7th round KO that had his Texan supporters on their feet. And now, he’s amped up for his Vegas headliner, ready to show the super welterweight division just what he’s made of after a year out of the ring.

Across the corner stands Fredrick Lawson, a man whose heart pumps the fearless blood of Ghana. This Chicago-trained powerhouse has snatched regional belts left and right, not to mention the IBF International and WBC International Silver Welterweight Titles. He’s coming off a decisive win against Villalobos and is poised to shock the world and the odds on that crisp January night.

Lawson’s got his eyes on the prize, hungry to lift his arms in victory on DAZN, boxing’s new mecca. He’s thankful to the Golden Boy team for this chance to shine and promises fans a spectacle as he clashes with Ortiz – a bout between two fighters who bring the heat and never shy away from a good scrap.

Oscar De La Hoya, the head honcho at Golden Boy, is betting big on Ortiz. He sees in him the heart of a lion, the dedication of a seasoned pro, and the raw power to seize a world title. Oscar is sure that when Ortiz steps into the ring with Lawson, sparks will fly and fans will remember why they love this sport.

UNDERCARD

Golden Boy has upped the ante with a stacked undercard, featuring as the co-main event the U.K.’s Ohara “Two Tanks” Davies (25-2, 18 KOs) taking on Venezuela’s Ismael Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KOs). This 12-round match for the WBA Super Lightweight Interim World Championship is a rescheduled bout from its original Dec. 2 date and is presented in collaboration with TGB Promotions.

New to the Golden Boy roster, Arnold Barbosa Jr. from El Monte (28-0, 10 KOs) will make his presence felt in a 10-round super lightweight bout. Adding more international flavor, Ukraine’s Sergiy Derevyanchenko (14-5, 10 KOs) is also set for a 10-round fight. The opponents for both Barbosa Jr. and Derevyanchenko will be revealed in the upcoming weeks.

But that’s not all – the Golden Boy Boxing Prelims: Ortiz vs. Lawson card will be streamed live on YouTube and Facebook Watch. Here, undefeated NABF Welterweight titleholder Raul “El Cugar” Curiel (13-0, 11 KOs) will go head-to-head in a 10-round bout against Elias Diaz (12-1, 7 KOs) from National City, California.

Tristan Kalkreuth (12-1, 9 KOs), hot off a stunning fifth-round knockout victory last October, will return for an eight-round cruiserweight fight against Marquise Weston (15-2-1, 8 KOs) from Tacoma, Washington. Also on the prelims, Santa Ana’s Johnny “Sugar Cane” Cañas (2-0, 1 KO) is set for a four-round super lightweight fight. And debuting professionally, Dallas, Texas’ own Emiliano Gandara will feature in a four-round super welterweight bout. The opponents for both Cañas and Gandara will be announced shortly.

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