After facing both internal and external adversity, Vergil Ortiz & Michael Conlan will be making their return to the squared circle on Saturday. Vergil Ortiz will face Michael McKinson (unbeaten fringe contender) in a bout that has been elevated to WBA title eliminator. Miguel Marriaga, a hardened vet, will take on Michael Conlan in an attempt to regain his horse that he was knocked out from under him by Leigh Wood earlier this year. Ortiz/McKinson live streamed on DAZN, while Conlan/Marriaga live streamed on ESPN+. Check out the top sportsbooks for betting on the Fights!
Let’s start with Michael Conlan, who tries to forget the incident that saw him being knocked out in dramatic fashion in the ring by Leigh Wood as a fight of the year nominee. Conlan looked strong throughout the fight, scoring a knockdown early in the first round and remaining dominant for many rounds. Leigh Wood deserves credit for his efforts to get back in the fight, scoring a knockdown in round 11 and then delivering the knockout that this hack-of-ascribe deemed the best of the year in round 12.
Conlan has to be 100% mentally and physically healthy after the brutal end to his fight against Leigh Wood. Miguel Marriaga will take advantage of Conlan’s inability to recover fully in any one or both of these categories. Marriaga is a faded boxer who never had the potential to be a top-lever, but he can bring power and pressure.
Michael Conlan should be able to show the same versatility and skills that he showed in his win over TJ Donehy, which should give him a convincing win. Conlan will have to use his lateral movement and defense to avoid Marriaga exchanging. Conlan will use his strong jab and ring skills to win rounds, combining attacks on the body to take down Miguel Marriaga. Marriaga will find Conlan’s jab and counter shots and his left hooks to Marriaga’s body too strong. Conlan should be able to get at least one knockdown, but only if he is confident.
Let’s move on to the main event on DAZN. Vergil Ortiz, an undefeated boxer, will face Michael McKinson, a somewhat skilled fighter. The fight was made into a WBA title eliminator, which was no surprise considering Terrence Crawford and Errol Spence seem to be on a collision course to fight this fall. Vergil Ortiz was in the cut, waiting for an opportunity at welterweight. Unfortunately, the title level is jammed at the moment.
Ortiz was reportedly diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, which caused him to withdraw from the matchup in March. Vergil’s knockout streak will be tested with 18 wins from 18 stoppages. Ortiz is a solid pressure fighter and won’t mind taking a punch to land his most powerful shots. Ortiz will attack his opponent. Michael McKinson, a good boxer with an unbeaten record of 22-0, is his potential prey. Check out the best new sports betting sites for betting on Boxing.
McKinson is a skilled man who can travel a long distance and/or trouble Ortiz. McKinson’s movements are smooth, and he uses angles to land punches, and then escapes from the pocket. McKinson is a southpaw who can handle a jab quite well. His best punch is a left hook, whether it’s a counter or lead hook. Although his jab is good, his right hand is usually a more looping punch than the one used by Ortiz. Michael pulled off a good upset against Chris Kongo and even managed to knock Kongo to the ground. Although the punch was not very clean, it felt more like a push/punch. However, he was clever in keeping Kongo’s guard up to ensure he hit his target.
It will all come down to the talent gap. McKinson’s ability to perform against UK domestic boxers is a testament to his abilities as a contender and blue-chip prospect. He won’t be able to land enough quality punches to win as many rounds. His two knockouts and low punching power make it easy to believe he won’t have enough power to stop Ortiz.
McKinson’s success rate in the first few frames is what this boxing podcaster sees. Ortiz will end the show with hard punches to both the head and body once Vergil has found his rhythm. Considering how long he has been out of the ring, this could take some time. McKinson must look better than he did against Alex Martin to make this a two-way fight.
Side Note: Friday’s “Last Chance Tourney”, on ProBoxTV, features Moran vs. Castaneda and Fernandez.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio
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