Teofimo Lopez scores a terrifying and shameful victory over Jamaine Ortiz.
Teofimo Lopez retained his WBO super lightweight champion belt with a unanimous decision victory over Jamaine Ortiz.
In a lackluster bout, Teofimo Lopez retained his World Boxing Organization (WBO) super lightweight title by defeating Jamin Ortiz via unanimous decision at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.
Judge Steve Westfield gave the score 117-111, while Tim Cheatham and David Sutherland ruled 115-113. The announcement sparked boos from the majority among the 6,206 spectators who attended the Michelob Ultra Arena.
“These fighters don’t want to fight,” said Lopez, ESPN’s No. 1 lightweight. “If you're not ready for this life, get out of my sport. I'm a champion. I bleed for this, sweat for this, and cry for this. Always.”
Neither boxer landed that many punches: 78 for Lopez and 80 for Ortiz. Ortiz's long jab has given Lopez fits, and every time the champion closes the distance, Ortiz (17-2-1, 8 KOs) sets down and refuses to attack. The strategy was effective even if it wasn't aesthetically pleasing.
Although Ortiz did not want to trade, Lopez did himself no favors with his own strategy. Lopez basically threw one punch at a time, followed Ortiz rather than cutting across the ring, and didn't target the body.
This was not new territory for Lopez. When he faced Sandor Martin, another skilled player, in December 2022, Lopez again failed to make the cut and was on the winning side of a contested decision.
After that fight, Lopez was caught asking his father and trainer: “Do I still have it?”
The answer was a resounding yes after the way he dominated Josh Taylor in June to become the two-division champion. However, Lopez showed on Thursday night that he hasn't learned much from Martin's performance. This time no adjustments were made either.
“This is not a repeat because I still have it,” Lopez said. “Don't tell me this is Sandor Martin Part Two.”
Ortiz, a 27-year-old fighter from New England, earned recognition when he put Vasiliy Lomachenko on the spot in a competitive decision loss in October 2022. But just as he did against Lomachenko, Ortiz faded along the way.
Lopez swept the final three rounds to achieve victory on Thursday. If Ortiz had won one of those three rounds on two of the scorecards, the fight would have ended in a draw.
“I think I won the fight,” said Ortiz, ESPN's No. 8 lightweight, who moved up to 140 pounds for his first title shot. “What can I say, once again I came out with the short end of the stick. He couldn't hit me… He wouldn't put any shots down on me… I always stay true to who I am… Make some adjustments and come back for another shot at getting Title”.
Ortiz suffered a serious injury to his left eye due to a head collision in the seventh round, but his corner was quickly able to control the bleeding. Although his shots and footwork were impressive, there were no moments that caught the eyes of the judges.
With Lopez pressing forward, even if it was ineffective aggression, he seemed to impress the judges down the stretch.
The win gives Lopez his first defense of the junior welterweight title. Lopez, one of boxing's rising stars, won the undisputed lightweight championship when he defeated Lomachenko in October 2020.
But he lost the titles in his first defense, losing a decision to George Kambosos in the 2021 upset of the year on ESPN.
The Honduran boxer said: “I am the champion, I am the king.” “You know what's next for me? Glory. None of these guys want to fight me. I'm going to fight (Terrence) Crawford, in a different category.”
Keyshaw runs over “Sniper” Pedraza
In the other fight that topped the card, American Keshawn Davis, the Olympic silver medalist, knocked out Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza, the two-division champion, in the sixth round.
Davis (10-0-0, 7 KO) began to impose his will in the third act, with powerful combinations to Pedraza's head and body. While he seemed to do the most damage with direct punches to the face, he generated perhaps more punishment with sustained body shots in the later rounds.
“Throughout this entire training camp I said I was the best at 135 pounds,” Davis said. “Everyone kept saying, 'You have to knockout'… but I told them not to worry about that and just watch me work. And that's exactly what happened. I won by knockout.”
Now, Davis has his sights set on Lopez.
He considered that “Teofimo has been talking a lot lately.” “I'll go up to 140 pounds to fight Teofimo, how about that?…You know how I came, you and your father. We have to agree on this. I'll go straight up to 140 pounds, so let's go. And you're afraid, Teofimo.”
Pedraza, who returned to the lightweight division in hopes of winning another world title, fell to 29-6-1.
Card results for February 8 at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas
• Teofimo Lopez Jr. G (DU-12/12) Jamaine Ortiz, Lopez retains the super lightweight title
• Keyshawn Davis ing (TKO-6/10) Jose Pedraza, lightweight
• George Acosta F(DO-8/8) Rene Tellez Giron, lightweight
• Javier Martinez G (DU-8/8) Raul Salomon, middleweight
•Abdullah Maysoon G (TKO-2/8) Benjamin Gurment, very lightweight
• Charlie Sheehy G (DU-8/8) Abdul Sauceda, lightweight
• Alan Garcia G (TKO-1/6) Tomas Ornelas, very lightweight
• Antonio Zepeda P(TKO-3/6) Lemire Isom Riley, heavyweight
• Art Barrera Jr. ing (TKO-1/4) Michael Portales, super lightweight
Information from Mike Coppinger and the AP was used in this report