Welterweight knockout machine Vergil Ortiz Jr., perhaps the best prospect in boxing, will face a stark contrast in styles in his next fight.
Ortiz will meet skillful boxer Brad Solomon in the 12-round main event of Golden Boy’s card on Dec. 13 (DAZN) at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, the company announced Friday.
Ortiz had been penciled in for his next fight on that date for some time, but now he has his opponent: Solomon, who will have his first fight in 20 months.
“We’re absolutely proud of what Vergil Ortiz Jr. has been able to accomplish in his young career,” Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. “That’s why we’re ending the year with him in an exciting main event fight on DAZN. The 147-pound division is one of the most competitive and popular divisions in boxing, so another knockout win will put this young talent on the path to very big fights in 2020.”
Ortiz (14-0, 14 KOs), 21, of Dallas, will be in his third fight since moving up to the welterweight division, where he owns impressive knockouts against former junior welterweight world title challengers Antonio Orozco in August and Mauricio Herrera in May. Neither had ever been knocked out before facing Ortiz.
Ortiz will be fighting at Fantasy Springs for the fourth time, and it’s a location that is meaningful to him.
“Fantasy Springs has a special place in my heart,” Ortiz said. “I made my pro debut there in July 2016. Knowing I’m headlining there is motivating me to show my fans out there how much I have improved over the years. I’m also happy because an event like this shows that I’m on the right path. Everything is going as it should be.
“I’ve seen Brad Solomon’s record. I’ve seen that he’s beaten Adrian Granados and Ray Robinson, so you have to be pretty skilled to beat people like them. I don’t know how this fight ends, but you can all expect a great fight.”
Solomon (28-1, 9 KOs), 36, of Lafayette, Louisiana, was a standout amateur and has faced several quality opponents during his 11-year pro career. He has won two fights in a row since a split decision loss to then-unbeaten Konstantin Ponomarev in April 2016 on the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley III undercard in Las Vegas.
“Vergil Ortiz Jr. is a great young prospect,” Solomon said. “It’s going to be a good matchup. I’ve been out of the ring, so I have to come back and beat this young fighter. I have to show everyone in the welterweight division that I’m still here.”
In the co-feature, former junior lightweight world titleholder Alberto Machado (21-2, 17 KOs), 29, of Puerto Rico, will face an opponent to be determined in a 10-round fight, which will mark Machado’s debut in the lightweight division.
Machado is moving up in weight after back-to-back knockout losses to Andrew Cancio, who stopped him with body shots in the fourth round to take his 130-pound world title in February and then did it again in the third round of their rematch on June 21, with both bouts coming at Fantasy Springs.