By Adam Baskin: Top contender Vergil Ortiz Jr said he is open to fighting Jaron “Boots’ Ennis or Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman if he can’t get a title shot against 147-lb champions Errol Spence Jr or Terence Crawford.
Ortiz (19-0, 19 KOs) wants to fight three times this year, and so far, he’s only fought once, stopping Michael McKinson in the ninth round last August.
It is doubtful whether Ortiz’s management will be willing to throw him with Boots Ennis or Keith Thurman because these fights will be risky, and there will not be much profit. Neither fighter holds the belt, and they will be tough on the 24-year-old Ortiz.
Boots Ennis will be really tough for Ortiz, and it could be a step too far for him. It’s hard to imagine Ortiz’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, letting him anywhere near Boots at this stage of his career.
“After the fight [with Michael McKinson]I’m back in the gym and I’m already running this week,” said Vergil Ortiz Jr. to Fight Hub TV. “I’m always in the gym. I’m always working out; I’m always in shape.
“I don’t have anything solid yet. The hope is to fight one more time this year. I hope so. I want to fight more often.
“If I don’t get that, then I want to fight in January. I want to fight as soon as possible. No potential opponent, no potential date. At this point, I stand ready for anything.
“You’ll have to ask my manager about that,” Vergil said when asked what the holdup was. “I don’t want to say that. It could be, but I don’t know what they’re thinking,” Ortiz said about whether his high KO ratio scares his opponents.
“There are a lot of things that will come into play, but I don’t know. If he says it, then it’s probably true,” said Ortiz Jr. about Oscar De La Hoya working on a date.
“I’ll fight anyone. I don’t care if it’s Boots [Ennis]. I don’t care though [Keith] Thurman. I don’t care if it’s Spence or anyone or Crawford. I really don’t care. I would like to fight someone. I do not mind.
“He is a fighter. I don’t think so,” Ortiz said when asked about his opinion of Jaron ‘Boots’ Enis. “If he fights, he fights. That’s all. I’ve seen some of his fights, yeah. What can I say? He he is a good warrior.
“What I think is nobody’s business. ‘Oh, he is an enemy. He is afraid of him.’ I really don’t care what people say.
“It’s possible,” Ortiz said about whether he could fight Errol Spence Jr or Terence Crawford if their fight doesn’t happen. “I haven’t checked the position in a while. I probably still have #1 in both of them, so it’s very possible.
“It’s really a fight [Spence vs. Crawford]. Let me say this first. I think both of them can win the war. I’m leaning more towards Crawford if we’re going based on their last fights.
“I’m going to go with Crawford. I think he’s got a little bit more right now. But like I said, I think they both have what it takes to beat each other. I really can’t pick a winner. That’s the beauty of it.” Boxing. You never know what’s going to happen.
“They’re going to approach it like it’s the biggest fight of their lives, because in fact, it probably is. So they’re going to take it seriously.
“When they come in, I think they will hear each other like there is a lot of fighting, and then it will fly. It will pick up quickly. “I think it’s going to go up in the third round,” Ortiz said of the fight between Spence and Crawford.
“They are two interesting fighters, or it could be the other way around. That’s boxing. Actually we don’t know. I am very sad and predictable.
“I feel like that might be a bad thing to do,” Ortiz said of Spence jumping on Crawford right away. “He can get into the set or something. That’s what Crawford is good at.
“I hope for three at the very least. If I don’t fight again this year, it’s only one fight this year,” said Ortiz about wanting to fight three times this year. “This is scary. This really sucks. I want to fight as much as I can. At least, three or four,” Ortiz said.