Jamaine Ortiz: I’m coming here to take Teofimo Lopez’s head off

Ortiz challenges Lopez for WBO junior welterweight title live on ESPN from Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas

Jamaine Ortiz challenges Teofimo Lopez in the main event live from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Thursday, February 8. Once-beaten contender looks to dethrone the WBO junior welterweight champion, who makes his first title defense.

The pair previously fought at the amateur 2015 National Golden Gloves Championship. Lopez took the victory by points. Going through the ropes in Las Vegas, Ortiz looks to spoil the return of the “Showman” and become a new world champion.

27-year-old Jamaine Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs) won his previous bout last September by unanimous decision against Antonio Moran. The native of Worcester, Massachusetts makes his first attempt to land a world title.

“There hasn’t been respect,” said Jamaine Ortiz at the final pre-fight press conference. “It’s a fight. I’m coming here to take his head off. It is what it is.”

“There is a calm before the storm. you’ve got to know to keep control of your mind and body, especially before you go into battle.”

“I feel like I’m going to be the guy having the clown do whatever I want to do. It’s going to be that kind of show.”

“When I win Thursday night, it’s going to be a great night. I’m going to remember it for the rest of my life. It will be the day I became a world champion. It will be another step in my goal to getting other great fights and to continue building my legacy.”

Teofimo Lopez and Jamaine Ortiz go face to face
Teofimo Lopez and Jamaine Ortiz go face to face | Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Two-division world champion Teofimo Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) brings to the ring the WBO junior welterweight belt that he claimed against Josh Taylor last June. In October 2020, the 26-year-old Brooklyn native defeated Vasyl Lomachenko by unanimous decision and unified the IBF, WBA and WBO lightweight belts.

“I’m the big clown of the sport of boxing,” Teofimo Lopez said. I’ve got to make everyone laugh. I’ve got a big nose for a reason.”

“It’s great to be back. I’m glad to see the talents coming through. But this is only the beginning for me. I’m 26 years young. I’m not even in my prime yet.”

“We have a tremendous dance partner. He’s wanted this fight for awhile. And we’ll do our thing.”

“I’ve been to the top before at 135, beating the most decorated fighter at the time. Nobody wanted to face him. Now we’re back again. I beat the guy nobody wanted to fight again. So, I’ve looked it as I’ve gained it, lost it and I’ve gained it back again. I know what it takes to be great, which means to respect the ring and respect what it means to be a champion.”

Teofimo Lopez and Jamaine Ortiz
Teofimo Lopez and Jamaine Ortiz at the press conference | Mikey Williams/Top Rank

In the co-feature to Lopez vs Ortiz, U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis (9-0, 6 KOs) of Norfolk, Virginia takes on two-weight world champion Jose Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs) of Caguas, Puerto Rico. The contest is scheduled for 10 rounds at lightweight.

Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a former Muay Thai fighter, sports manager and editor at FIGHTMAG.

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