An unbeaten British fighter goes into the breach this Saturday, as 22-0 Michael McKinson heads to Fort Worth, Texas to face Vergil Ortiz Jr in a WBA welterweight title eliminator. It’s a huge gamble for ‘The Problem’, who takes on a fighter hotly-tipped to soon wear world title gold. But McKenna has aspirations of his own, and it is encouraging to see an undefeated fighter risk that record in a truly challenging fight rather than rest on their laurels by fighting soft touches.
An absorbing undercard brings world title action, as WBC and WBA flyweight champion Marlen Esparza defends her crown against Eva Guzman. Former world champion Maurice Hooker looks to rebuild from his own stoppage defeat to headliner Ortiz Jr as he takes on Blair Cobbs. The always-entertaining veteran Hank Lundy looks to arrest a two-fight losing streak when he faces ‘Chi-Town Heat’ Alex Martin.
Here’s everything you need to know about a fun night of fights in the Lone Star State.
Where: Dickies Arena, Fort Worth, Texas
When: Saturday 6th August (UK time: 11:30pm prelims, 2:00am main card)
How to watch: DAZN
Tale of the Tape:
Place Of Birth: Grand Prairie, Texas, US
Record: 18-0 (18 KOs)
Last Fight: Ortiz Jr kept his remarkable knockout streak alive with an eighth-round stoppage of former world title challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas. The victory was his longest fight so far, with none of his previous 17 bouts going past the seventh round.
Place Of Birth: Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Record: 22-0 (2KOs)
Last Fight: ‘The Problem’ won a lopsided decision over Alex Martin in a Los Angeles ten-rounder back in March. It was his first outing in the United States.
What They Say:
“I am grateful for this fight to be an eliminator, it’s just closer to a world title shot. I have a lot of pride being from Texas and fighting in Texas. A lot of my peers and family are here and it pumps me up.” (Press Conference)
“Knowing that this is now a world title eliminator adds more fuel to the fire. This is just the cherry on top. I believe in myself, in my hard work, in my rise. I have worked myself the hard way and I deserve my opportunity. I have a lot of people supporting me back home and I promise I will make you all proud.” (Press Conference)
Vergil Ortiz Jr vs. Michael McKinson
Marlen Esparza vs. Eva Guzman (WBC and WBA flyweight titles)
Maurice Hooker vs. Blair Cobbs
Bektemir Melikuziev vs. Sladan Janjanin
Alex Martin vs. Henry Lundy
Floyd Schofield vs. Rodrigo Guerrero
Figo Ramirez Gonzalez vs. Francisco Bonilla Zambrano
Rohan Polanco vs. Dedrick Bell
Carlos Nava vs. Rodolfo Hernandez Montoya
*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change