One of Britain's most underrated fighters, Michael McKinson dares to be great this Saturday as he travels to Texas to face off with knockout artist Vergil Ortiz Jr. in a rescheduled clash between welterweight prospects. This bout was initially pencilled in for March, but an illness for Ortiz Jr. led to the bout being postponed.
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McKinson turned over in 2014 and worked his way through the ranks on the small hall scene in the UK. McKinson's 22-0 record only features two knockouts but his style has proved a nightmare for any opponent. McKinson would pick up his first title in his 11th fight, as he would defeat fellow unbeaten welterweight Ryan Martin by unanimous decision to pick up the WBC Youth title. McKinson's next title would come two fights later, as he would stop Colin Lynes in six rounds to add the WBC International Silver title to his mantle.
McKinson was becoming a very familiar name on the UK domestic scene and continued to impress as he awaited his big opportunity. McKinson kept plucking away and would defend his WBC International Silver strap convincingly over domestic rivals Sammy McNess and Ryan Kelly. McKinson would embark on entering the WBO rankings next, as he would collect the WBO European title, defeating Evgeny Pavko. McKinson would defeat Luis Alberto Veron next, dropping Veron twice on his way to a unanimous decision. McKinson would showcase power again in his next bout, sending Martin Harkin to the canvas three times en route to a unanimous decision.
McKinson would finally get a chance to showcase his skills on the big stage, as he would get a shot at highly rated undefeated prospect Chris Kongo in Gibraltar as part of the Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte II card. McKinson would finally get the deserved recognition, as he sent Kongo to the canvas in round one, before implementing his tricky style to pick up the WBO Global title from Kongo by unanimous decision. McKinson would be signed by Matchroom following the Kongo victory and was back in the ring five months later when he would comprehensively defeat Przemyslaw Runowski at Matchroom Fight Camp. The Ortiz Jr. fight would be announced for March, however, the bout was to fall through on fight week, leading to McKinson facing Alex Martin as a replacement, a fight he came through unscathed to pick up a unanimous decision victory.
Ortiz Jr. turned pro in 2016 and has finished all 18 of his professional bouts inside the distance. After blowing his first eight opponents away in quick fashion, Ortiz Jr. would get to fight for the North American title against Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez in his ninth bout. Ortiz Jr. would waste no time in picking up his first title, as he would blast Rodriguez out of there in three rounds. It was clear that Ortiz Jr. was a prospect hurtling towards the top, and would be given a notable step up in Antonio Orozco for the WBA Gold title in just his 14th fight. Ortiz Jr. would claim the WBA Gold title, as he would dismantle Orozco in the sixth round.
A fifth-round stoppage of Brad Solomon would follow the Orozco victory before Ortiz Jr. would go on to dispatch veteran Samuel Vargas in seven rounds. Ortiz Jr. was always in the talks of being one of the best prospects in boxing. Former world champion Maurice Hooker would be the next man who would try and stop Ortis Jr's hot run of form, but he was unsuccessful as Ortiz Jr. would get Hooker out of there in the seventh round to pick up the WBO International title. Ortiz Jr. would defend the WBO International title against former world title challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas next and would score an eighth-round knockout.
Both Ortiz Jr. and McKinson put their undefeated records on the line this Saturday in a bout between two fighters with different styles. The fight goes down at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas and you can see these two men fight toward a world title shot live on DAZN.