The Lone Star State has emerged as the number one state in the union for prizefighting it is pumping out world champs and blue-chip prospects at an alarming rate. The Fight Capital of the US isn’t New York or Philly anymore it’s not Los Angeles, its Texas. Period Full stop and there is no discussion. The greatest state in the union has in recent years given fight fans the likes of Maurice Hooker, The Figueroa brothers the Charlo Twins, Mario Barrios and on and on. There is no longer any question where America’s boxing hotbed is.
The state is home to the world’s greatest sporting venue, AT&T stadium, located in the heart of the Dallas- Fort Worth metroplex. The venue may be home to something truly special. The best welterweight in the world and perhaps the best fighter in the USA to square off with the best prospect in the world. Errol Spence unprecedented the unified welterweight champ, and Vergil Oritz our 2018 prospect of the year, both residents of the Dallas area are on a collision course for an all-texas shootout and if the Vergil Ortiz the young upstart gets his way that showdown will be sooner rather than later.
Errol Spence was America’s sweetheart, an Olympian who got a raw deal, a polite kid with an aggressive seek and destroy style who went overseas to the UK and took a major world title back home to the USA. However, Spence has slightly fallen out of favor with many pundits and boxing fans due to his drunken car crash and reckless comments thereafter combined with a lack of eagerness to square off with fellow 147-pound champ Terence Crawford. Despite this, he has become one of if not America’s biggest boxing star and his pay per view numbers and purses don’t lie. Spence sold 50,000 tickets and well over 300,00 PPV sales with Mikey Garcia last year in Dallas and then did even better PPV numbers with Shawn Porter in Los Angeles this summer in their unification bout.
In the other corner stands the young upstart by the Name of Virgel Ortiz who has won all 15 of his pro bouts by devastating knockout and won our Prospect of the Year award in 2018. Then put together a sensational 2019 that included destroying veterans and title challengers. The 22-year old is already considered top 10 in the deepest division in the sport and seems obsessed with making his mark. Ask trainer Robert Garcia who the hardest worker he ever worked with and he will start up with the incredible stories of Ortiz’s work ethic. How he is obsessed with being the best, no girlfriend, no partying, no late nights, just boxing. Singletrack mind, a mamba mentality for boxing. This past August Ortiz told me he wanted to fight both Dallasites, Hooker and Spence. Hooker first he said because they both fight on DAZN and it would be easier to make. Then he said he would love to fight Spence but “by the time it happens it will probably be at 154” but he insisted he had to beat both Hooker and Spence in their primes. He and legendary promoter Oscar De LA Hoya are fast-tracking the Spence fight they seem to want it right away. Oscar realizes that his prodigy is ready and nothing would catapult him to the next level like an all north texas shootout with Errol Spence at AT&T Stadium so why wait?
Texas has been home to countless memorable and meaningful sporting events and that includes boxing. Perhaps no fight will have the importance and intrigue that this fight will have, two fighters, one perhaps the best fighter in the nation and the other the best prospect in the world, who grew up just 17 miles part meeting at just the right time for not just dominance in the welterweight division but for bragging rights as the best fighter in the best fighting city in the best fighting state in the best fighting country in the world.