Unbeaten welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz Jr. (19-0, 19 KOs) kept his unbeaten and knockout streak alive on Saturday night, with a ninth-round stoppage of Michael McKinson (22-1, 2 KOs) at the Dickies Arena in Forth Worth, Texas, which streamed live on DAZN.
Ortiz Jr., who is now in line for a WBA welterweight title shot with the win, suffered a cut in the opening round from an accidental headbutt over his left eye but the injury didn’t deter him from coming forward.
Over the next few rounds, Ortiz, who was off to a slowish start, began wearing down McKinson with his body attack, and in the eighth, Ortiz floored him with a punishing body shot.
In the ninth, Ortiz Jr. again landed a clean left to the body that sent McKinson down for a second time. While he beat the count, McKinson’s corner had seen enough and threw in the towel shortly after.
“It wasn’t my best performance. The first seven rounds, I didn’t really do anything good. I should have listened to my corner in the opening rounds,” said Ortiz, Jr. “Once I listened to them, we were able to get the job done. I am ready to fight anyone. I stay training. I’ll probably be ready for a run by tomorrow.”
In the co-featured bout, unified WBC and WBA flyweight champ Marlen Esparza (13-1, 1 KOs) retained her title with a unanimous decision win over Eva Guzman (19-2, 11 KOs) with scores of 98-92, 98-92, and 95-91.