Ortiz on fight with McKinson: ‘I think fans will get to see how smart I am in the ring’

The pride of Grand Prairie, Texas, Vergil Ortiz, Jr. (18-0, 18 KOs), and top 10 ranked, undefeated welterweight contender Michael “The Problem” McKinson (22-0, 2 KOs) of Portsmouth, Great Britain hosted a media workout to promote their upcoming fight on Saturday, August 6 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas that will stream live worldwide, exclusively on DAZN. Their 12-round fight will be for Ortiz’s WBO International Welterweight Title.

In addition to the main event fighters, combatants from the stacked card also participated in the workout including Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (27-2-3, 18 KOs), and Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (15-1-1, 10 KOs).

VERGIL ORTIZ, JR., WBO INTERNATIONAL WELTERWEIGHT TITLE HOLDER:

“I feel very good. I am excited to get back into the ring. It’s been a year – a really long layoff. I wish we could have been a little bit more active, but we’re here now and ready to make the most out of it.”

“I’m expecting a very tactical fight – almost like a chess match in there. I think fans will get to see how smart I am in the ring.”

“It’s exciting and motivating to be on the threshold to bigger opportunities. It makes me want to work harder.”

“It’s a hometown crowd, and I hope we get to pack the house.”

MICHAEL MCKINSON, UNDEFEATED WELTERWEIGHT CONTENDER:

“It feels good to be here. Obviously, back in March, unfortunate circumstances happened and Ortiz had to withdraw. But we got the opportunity again, so a big shout out and thank you to Team Golden Boy because they didn’t need to offer it to me again, but they did.”

“It feels good to be in Texas. For me and where I’m from, fighting in the States is big – I get to do it twice and I get to headline both. I’m happy.”

“I’m not going to have to be looking for Ortiz this time around. He’s a young lion, he hasn’t really put a foot wrong, and I’m really here just trying to tame the lion. I’ll win U.S. fans like I did last time.”

“A win over Ortiz changes my life; it changes my city of Portsmouth, my team, my daughter and everyone around me.”

MAURICE HOOKER, FORMER LIGHT WELTERWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION:

“I’m confident, and I’m ready to do my job.”

“I’m going to do the same thing that you saw last fight: I’m coming to fight and I’m not cowering down to anybody.”

“Since my last fight, I’ve stayed in camp, stayed training so that I could be ready for anything to come my way. I expect a big crowd and everyone to be there for me.”

“I’m not really worried about what my opponent says. I’m from the hood. They hype me up. My fans can expect a good fight. I’m coming for it all, and I am putting it all out for Ms. Stacey.”

BLAIR COBBS, WELTERWEIGHT CONTENDER:

“I’m just focused, locked in, and ready for my opponent.”

“My last fight was a circumstantial lost. It’s not a big deal to me. I am the most exciting man in boxing, and I put on a show no matter if it’s a win or a loss – Blair “The Flair” puts on a great show.”

“I’m more focused and driven. I have a solid team that is better than ever. Blair “The Flair” is looking to be the best fighter he can possibly be every single fight. I made a lot of changes within my camp to make sure that fans get the best entertainment.”

“The guy I am fighting is tall, he’s strong, and lanky. He’s better than the last fighter I fought.”

“There’s no ‘stay busy’ fights, there’s no ‘easy’ fights. This is a hard fight, a big fight, and could easily become the pound-for-pound main event.”

Photos: Golden Boy

Blair Cobbs: ‘It will only be a matter of time before I face Vergil Ortiz’

Welterweight, Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (15-1-1, 10 KOs), who battles Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (27-2-3, 18 KOs), this Saturday, August 6th on the undercard of Vergil Ortiz Jr. vs. Michael McKinson, has a new team in place. Cobbs is now training in Oxnard, CA with Roger Romo and his core team. Hooker vs. Cobbs, a 10-round bout, will take place at The Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, broadcasted worldwide on DAZN.

The 32-year-old has his mind set on vengeance after suffering his first loss as a professional.  Here is what Cobbs had to say about his massive fight against former world champion Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker, his recent training camp, and more.

On his recent training camp:

“This was a very humbling camp. I had to think about things from different perspectives and come up with new ways to get great results. My last fight didn’t go how I wanted, but I’m ready to get back on top. I’ve wrapped up training in Oxnard, CA, with a new team in place as Roger Romo is my new head coach, along with coach Adam and Cecilio. I’m feeling good going into the fight and I’m going to give the fans a great show.”

Photos by Rodney Pinz Prince Ranch Boxing

On his matchup against Maurice Hooker:

“Hooker is a tougher opponent than Alexis. A win in this fight puts me in the top 10 rankings. The Rocha fight passed, I’m already on to bigger and better fights. While he continue fighting easy set ups. Blair “The Flair” remains the peoples champion, with odds stacked against him. Each fight will be an inspiration to people around the world.”

On dealing with the first loss of his career:

“It was hard. I didn’t like the stoppage, as people could see I was still fighting back, but it doesn’t matter now, I must win this fight. The result is the result, and now I must earn my spot back. I know I have a new mindset, and I am ready to fight my heart out.”

On fighting on the Vergil Ortiz vs Michael McKinson card:

“Look, Blair “The Flair” has looked at Vergil Ortiz as a future opponent for a long-time, so after I have another spectacular performance, it will only be a matter of time before I face Vergil Ortiz, who I think will win this fight. I think the fans will embrace it, and I want it as well.”

Hooker-Cobbs, Esparza-Guzman added to Ortiz-Mckinson undercard

Newly crowned WBC, WBA, and Ring Magazine Flyweight World Champion Marlen Esparza (12-1, 1 KOs) of Houston, TX, is set to defend her three world titles for the first time against her mandatory, former WBA Interim Flyweight World Champion Eva “La Ley” Guzman (19-1, 11KOs) from Maracay, Venezuela on Saturday, August 6 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, TX. The 10-round flyweight event will serve as the co-main event for Vergil Ortiz, Jr. vs. Michael Mckinson.

Also, on the card, Dallas, TX fan favorite Maurice “Might Mo” Hooker (27-2-3, 18 KOs) will face Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (15-1-1, 10 KOs) of Philadelphia, PA, in a 10-round welterweight fight. Opening the DAZN stream, Bektemir “The Bully” Melikuziev (9-1, 7 KOs) of Indio, CA, will take on Sladan “The Miner” Janjanin (32-10, 24 KOs) of Boston, MA in an 8-round super middleweight event. All fights will stream live worldwide, exclusively on DAZN starting at 5:00 p.m. PT / 7:00 p.m. CT / 8:00 p.m. ET.

Also on the card and part of The Golden Boy Fight Night: Ortiz Jr. vs. McKinson Prelims on DAZN and the Golden Boy Boxing YouTube page, Alex “Chi Town Heat” Martin (17-4, 6 KOs) returns to the ring against the battle-tested warrior Henry “Hank” Lundy (31-10-1, 14 KOs). The 10-round super lightweight fight will be part of the preliminary bouts ahead of the DAZN broadcast hosted by Golden Fight Night’s Beto Duran and Texas rising boxing star Alex Rincon. Additional fights on the card will be announced shortly.

“I am ready for Eva Guzman. Mandatory defense or title fight, all fights are serious business for me!” said Marlen Esparza.

“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for to prove I am the best,” said Eva Guzman. “After this victory, the whole world will know I am the most dangerous fighter at 112 pounds.”

“Im ready to show the world I’m still a warrior,” said Maurice Hooker. “I’m ready to give them a fight they will always remember.”

“Blair the Flair is saying absolutely nothing. See you August 6,” said Blair Cobbs.

“It’s been a long time in training camp, the opponents pulled out, the dates rescheduled, so I am happy to finally have a fight and step back in the ring on August 6 on a big Golden Boy show,” said Bektemir Melikuziev.

Marlen Esparza was born to make history in boxing. Born in Houston, Texas, Marlen Esparza began her boxing career at 12 years old after growing up in a household that loved the sport. In May 2012, Esparza became the first American woman to qualify to compete in the 2012 Olympics in London, the first year that women’s boxing made its debut as an Olympic event. She would win the bronze medal in the women’s flyweight division. In 2017, Esparza became the first female fighter signed by Golden Boy Promotions.

In 2021, Esparza had a successful year, with an unanimous decision victory against Ibeth Zamora Silva for the WBC Flyweight World Championship and successfully defended her new world championship title against former world champion Anabel “Avispa” Ortiz. On April 9, as part of the undercard of Ryan Garcia vs. Emmanuel Tagoe, Esparza faced her toughest challenge to date, taking on five-division world champion Naoko Fujioka. The fight pitted the #1 vs. #2 in the female flyweight division, granting them the honor of fighting for the first-ever Ring Magazine Female Flyweight World Championship. After 10-rounds of non-stop action from two of the mightiest female fighters in the flyweight division, the judges ruled in favor of Esparza unanimously, crowning her the new WBC, WBA, and Ring Magazine World Champion.

An accomplished fighter since her professional debut in 2015, Eva Guzman has rapidly risen the ranks to a world championship by defeating some of the toughest fighters in the division. Her first big test came in 2018 when she faced Yaditza Perez for the IBA World Minimumweight World Championship. In 2021, she earned the most significant accomplishment in her career thus far, moving up in weight and fighting in Mexico for the first time against Isabel Millan to claim the crown as the WBA’s newest Interim Flyweight World Champion. The new title had also earned her the honor of becoming the new mandatory to fight Marlen Esparza for the WBA Flyweight World Championship, something she has dreamed of becoming since her professional debut.

Blair Cobbs: ‘I am getting better and better’

Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (15-0-1, 10 KOs) of Philadelphia hosted a media workout today at the world famous WildCard Boxing Club ahead of his fight against fellow stablemate Alexis Rocha (18-1 (12 KOs) on March 19. Their 10-round welterweight fight will be the co-main event to Vergil Ortiz, Jr. vs. Michael   at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center in Downtown Los Angeles and will be streamed live, worldwide, on DAZN.

Below is what the fighter had to say about his upcoming fight:

“I can’t wait for this fight. I love every single opportunity to get out there and show the world what Blair ‘The Flair’ is all about. Each moment, each day, I am getting better and better. Everyday I am refining my craft, inside and outside of the ring and people are going to see it come March 19.

“Once again, I have to fight against the odds. There are a lot of people that think, Alexis Rocha might win. Let’s see what happens when he fights ‘The Great One.’ I expect that he is training very hard, but Blair ‘The Flair’ is training smart. It doesn’t matter what he does. In that ring he is going to try everything and he is not going to be able to get anything done because I am much, much better.

“It’s a big possibility that this fight may not go the distance. If he comes towards me and gets in my face I am going to shut him down.

“We are going to go in the ring with energy, and be the best that we possibly can which is always the most exciting, the biggest flair, the biggest attraction in boxing. Fans will have to tune in because the main event is the co-main event on March 19.”

Photo: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy

Blair Cobbs: ‘I want to challenge either Adrien Broner or Conor Benn for my next fight’

Undefeated welterweight, Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (14-0-1, 9 KOs), wants to give the fans a big fight and is targeting Adrien Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs) and Conor Benn (19-0, 12 KO) as fighters he wishes to face next. 

“It is time that I give the fans what they want, a great show, and I want to challenge either Adrien Broner or Conor Benn for my next fight,” said Cobbs, who is ready to face all of the biggest stars in the division. “I know I will stop Broner and I will beat Benn easily, the big question is will either of them fight me.”

“Blair is a fan-favorite and we would love to make a fight with another fighter that gets his fans excited and Broner, as well as Benn, fit that bill,” said Cobbs’ manager, Greg Hannley, CEO of Prince Ranch Boxing. “He is ready for any level of competition, and we are willing to put Blair in with anyone at any time.”

Cobbs last fought decorated amateur Brad Solomon, whom he stopped in the fifth round in a performance that had fight fans in El Paso, Texas on their feet. Cobbs now wants to take the division by storm.

“I want to show the fans my true skills, and to do that I need an opponent to bring it out of me,” said Cobbs. “I think both of these fights make sense and are realistic, and I have no issue signing a contract to fight, in fact, it is very easy. I beat Ferdinand Kerobyan in his backyard, I can do that again to another fighter as well, or we can fight in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or honestly anywhere – I just like to fight.”

Photo: Rodney Pinz / Prince Ranch Boxing