Fresh from a stunning knockout of Bryant 'By-By' Jennings and eager to continue his quest to be the best heavyweight in the sport, WBA Interim Heavyweight World Champion Luis 'The Real King Kong' Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs) will face former world title challenger Tony “The Tiger” Thompson (40-6, 27 KOs) in 12-round main event at the DC Armory, in Washington D.C. on Saturday, March 5 and televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark® beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Opening up the live telecast, top contender and 2008 Olympian Sadam “World Kid” Ali (22-0, 13 KOs) will face former WBA Super Lightweight World Champion Jessie Vargas (26-1, 9 KOs) in a 12-round co-main event for the vacant WBO Welterweight World Championship.
Vargas is the busier fighter and landed more in all categories. Vargas opponents landed 38.3% of their power shots, while Ali's landed just 26.1%.
Luis Ortiz vs. Tony Thompson is a 12-round heavyweight fight for the WBA Interim Heavyweight Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with King Kong Boxing and Warriors Boxing and Promotions. Sadam Ali vs. Jessie Vargas is a 12-round fight for the vacant WBO Welterweight World Championship presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Top Rank. The event is sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, BORN BOLD. The DC Armory doors open at 3:00 p.m. ET, and the HBO Boxing After Dark telecast begins live at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
A member of the 2008 United States Olympic boxing team, and the first Arab-American to represent the U.S. at the Olympics, Brooklyn’s Sadam “World Kid” Ali has been sailing up the welterweight ladder since a big year in 2013. Ali has had back-to-back title victories over Michael “Cold Blood” Clark, where he won the NABO Welterweight Title; Jeremy “Hollywood” Bryan, winning the WBO Inter-Continental Welterweight Title; Luis Carlos “El Potro” Abregu, defending his titles and giving the experienced fighter his second loss; and Francisco “Chia” Santana where he earned the WBA International Welterweight Title, the 27-year-old with remarkable speed and power is ready for his world title shot against former world champion Jessie Vargas.
Las Vegas standout Jessie Vargas has been following a path to the top similar to that of Ali, as he’s turned back several top foes since making his professional debut in 2008. A former WBA world champion at 140 pounds who defeated Khabib “The Hawk” Allakhverdiev, Anton “The Pick Hammer” Novikov and Antonio DeMarco in super lightweight title fights, Vargas lost a controversial 2015 fight to Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley for the WBO Interim Welterweight World Championship. Now, Vargas could get his wish of becoming a world champion once more when he faces Sadam “World Kid” Ali for the WBO Welterweight World Championship.