Vergil Ortiz Jr wants Terence Crawford after Maurice Hooker fight

 

Welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz Jr 16-0 (16) wants a shot at WBO 147-pound champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford 37-0 (28) if he can successfully get past former WBO 140-pound champion Maurice ‘Might Mo’ Hooker 27-1-3 (18) at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday night.

“Hooker is Crawford’s stablemate, he’s right there training and sparring with him.” Ortiz told FightHubTV.

“I think I’m fighting for a WBO international title in this fight, too. Crawford has the WBO belt. It makes sense. I’m piecing everything together. All the pieces fit.

“If I beat Hooker and they offer me (Crawford) right after, I’ll take it. It is what I’ve been fighting for, this is what I want. And Crawford is about to end his Top Rank thing pretty soon, I think, with his contract. I don’t want to miss that opportunity.

“This is as easy as it can get to make the fight with Golden Boy and Top Rank. I would want to fight him as soon as possible.”

Ortiz would be taking a big step up in class against three-weight world champion Crawford, but the 22-year-old knockout artist says you only have to look at the recent fight between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez for the undisputed lightweight championship of the world.

“A lot of people thought that about Teofimo Lopez with Lomachenko and he beat him. Anything is possible,” he said. “And more than that, I think I’m very capable of beating Crawford.”

Before his world title dream can become a reality, Ortiz must first get past the lanky Hooker in his second fight back since being stopped in six by Jose Carlos Ramirez in July 2019. It will also be the 31-year-old Hooker’s first fight in 15 months.

Ortiz is expecting Hooker’s experience to make him a difficult opponent, but he also believes he will bring the best out of him.

“He just kinda has that hunger and that pedigree of competitiveness to him that I don’t think I’ve seen in other fighters yet,” Ortiz said, adding that he won’t go headhunting looking for the stoppage.

“I’m not expecting the knockout, especially since I think he’s gonna move around a lot. I’m not gonna just mindlessly chase him down, because at that point it’s not gonna work out.

“I’m just gonna fight him in the best way possible and that might not be throwing power shot after power shot.

“I just have to make sure my punch placement is good. If I hurt him and have an opportunity to take him out, then I’m gonna take it. But I’m gonna be smart about it.”