WBA Gold Welterweight Champion Vergil Ortiz Jr. (14-0, 14 KOs) hosted a media workout Tuesday at Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Riverside ahead of his 12-round title fight against Brad “King” Solomon (28-1, 9 KOs) on Friday, December 13th at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.
“I feel like I’ve really shown that I belong with the top dogs,” said Ortiz Jr., a Dallas native returning to Fantasy Springs for the fifth time. “I feel like people are starting to recognize me a lot more, this was my breakout year and I’m going to break out even more next year,” My work ethic comes from my dad pushing me this entire time. He’s really pushed me to not be satisfied with anything that I do — there’s always room for improvement, you can always work harder.”
Solomon, 36, hails from Lafayette, LA. His lone loss was a split decision against Konstantin Ponomarev in April 2016. His last fight was a unanimous decision against David Bency in July 2017.
“What I know about Brad Solomon, he’s a very experienced fighter, he has double the wins that I have. He’s crafty, he definitely brings something different to the table than my past fights. We haven’t seen me fight someone like that in the professionals yet, so everyone’s going to see how I do. I’m ready to show people that I can fight any way; if I need to adjust then I can adjust. There’s going to be a time when I’m going to need to use everything I have and that’s probably going to be one of my greatest fights.”
Ortiz Jr.’s trainer, former IBF Junior Lightweight Champion Robert Garcia, also weighed in on Golden Boy’s rising star:
“Vergil is only 21 so he’s a very young fighter but he already has the strength, the mentality, the experience of a 27-year-old,” said Garcia, who was voted Trainer of the Year by The Ring magazine in 2011. He’s focused on one thing and that’s to become a world champion and to beat anybody in front of him. He’s one of the, if not the hardest working fighter I have in my gym, including all the world champions.
As for potential future bouts, Garcia said they’re being patient and waiting for the right opportunities to present themselves.
“We don’t want to rush him, we want to go fight by fight, especially right now at welterweight… If the right fight for a title comes, maybe at a different weight division, maybe we would consider it, but it would have to be the right fight against the right champion. At welterweight, I don’t see any champion fighting Vergil in 2020. There’s no rush. The fans still haven’t seen the best of Vergil Ortiz.”
Ortiz Jr. vs. Solomon is a 12-round fight for the WBA Gold Welterweight Title presented by Golden Boy. In the co-main event, former WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (21-2, 17 KOs) makes his 135-pound debut after losing his title to Andrew “El Chango” Cancio. In addition, former multiple-weight champion Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins will serve as the VIP guest.
Tickets starting at $25 are available at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino box office, by calling 1-800-827-2946, and online at www.FantasySpringsResort.com. The event will be streamed live on DAZN.