Teofimo Lopez promised a knockout when he meets Jamaine Ortiz live from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Thursday, February 8. The pair squares off in the 12-round main event bout with the world title on the line.
Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) is a former unified lightweight champion and reigning WBO junior welterweight champion, who is riding a three-fight winning streak. Making the first defense of the belt that he claimed against Josh Taylor last June, the 26-year-old Brooklyn native is confident in his victory and looks stay on top.
In November 2011 Lopez suffered his first career defeat, when he dropped a split decision against George Kambosos Jr and lost his IBF, WBA and WBO lightweight titles – the belt that he had unified by unanimous decision against Vasyl Lomachenko in October 2020.
Once-beaten contender Jamaine Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs), who previously held the WBC Youth World lightweight belt, makes his first attempt to land a major title. The 27-year-old of Worcester, Massachusetts is coming off the win by unanimous decision against Antonio Moran last September.
“Before all of this and before I fought Josh Taylor, I used to take a break,” Lopez said following a recent training session at the Top Rank Gym in Las Vegas. “I used to not really train so much. I used to not always be in the gym. But after I got everything back and became a two-division world champion, I started staying in the gym. My trainer, who is my father, always wanted me to stay in the gym. So, I started doing that last August.”
“Since then, I’ve gotten faster. I’ve gotten much stronger. My I.Q. is much sharper. And it’s because I haven’t stopped training since August of last year. And I’m not going to stop. After I beat Jamaine Ortiz, then I will keep staying in the gym.”
“The end result is that ‘The Showman’ is returning. There will definitely be a knockout. It’s not going the distance. I’m not going to leave it in the judges’ hands at all. So, everyone tune in, and get your popcorn ready.”
“It’s been a long journey. And I know what it takes. I don’t want to be known as a fighter who knows how to get to the top but doesn’t know how to keep it. So, I want everyone to tune in so they can see how much I truly love the sport of boxing.”
In the co-feature to Lopez vs Ortiz, U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis (9-0, 6 KOs) of Norfolk, Virginia goes up against two-division world champion Jose Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs) of Caguas, Puerto Rico. The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds at lightweight.