Jamaine Ortiz, the “Showman,” decided to bring Broadway to the boxing ring on Thursday, turning what was supposed to be a fist-fest into a graceful masterclass of boxing against none other than Teofimo Lopez, the supposed titan of the junior welterweight division.
Ortiz, in his dazzling debut for a world title, danced around Lopez like he was auditioning for “Swan Lake” rather than fighting for the junior welterweight crown. Ortiz had Lopez chasing shadows, throwing punches at the air, and probably questioning his life choices. And the cherry on top? Ortiz didn’t even break a sweat to make Lopez look like he was swatting flies all night. And yet, Ortiz was robbed of his victory by the oh-so-impartial judges. Because, you know, why let a little thing like skill decide the outcome of a boxing match?
Jimmy Burchfield Sr., the legendary promoter behind CES Boxing, couldn’t stop gushing about Ortiz’s “masterful performance.” According to him, many boxing fans and experts, Ortiz didn’t just outbox Lopez; he outshone, outdanced, and outright made a fool of Lopez in his own backyard.
It was a masterful performance,” said Burchfield, Sr. “He outboxed Lopez from the beginning. Jamaine outshined the showman in his hometown and then he was robbed of the decision. It’s shame when a fighter loses a decision like that after putting on such a boxing clinic. As far as I’m concerned, we beat Teofimo Lopez and we’re ready to challenge the other champions in the division.”
Oh, and let’s not forget Ortiz’s groundbreaking strategy of sticking to southpaw like it was going out of fashion. Despite Lopez’s storied history with southpaws, he looked as clueless as a kid in a calculus class, unable to land a clean shot or cut off the ring, which honestly, was more entertaining to watch than the fight itself.
Ortiz, the ever-humble technician, was all about the game plan. Make Lopez miss, check. Keep him at bay with a jab, check. Counter with a hook while Lopez flails wildly, double check. It was like watching a matador teasing a very angry, very confused bull.
“Like I said the whole week, he gets frustrated,” said Ortiz of his opponent’s temperament. “He can’t control himself. I know how to control myself and I knew he couldn’t. That was the game plan: get him frustrated and make him lose control. He was throwing wild, I was making him miss, it was part of the game plan and it worked.”
Despite Ortiz turning the ring into his personal runway, showcasing a collection of swift moves and rapid-fire combinations, the only thing he took home was a cut above his eye and the sound of boos echoing in his ears as the decision was announced. In the world of boxing, it seems, justice is as fleeting as a Lopez punch that night.
“I believe I won the fight,” said Ortiz to a group of reporters afterwards. “I got him out of his gameplan. He was frustrated and I was in control. He was missing wildly, and I was countering him. What can I say? It’s politics as usual.”
Several high-profile boxers and experts agreed, taking to social media in the early hours of Friday morning to voice their opinions.
“People gotta understand the game is called ‘BOXING’ and not ‘FIGHTING’,” wrote undisputed welterweight champion Terrence Crawford. “Hit and not get hit. But I guess y’all don’t know what that means, because when y’all see a fighter boxing the first thing y’all say is he’s running.”
“Beautiful boxing by Ortiz,” echoed former 2-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter. “Doing exactly what he needs to do. It’s like a video game. If you can’t stop my play why the hell would I pick a different play?”
Undefeated junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. summed it up best: “Ortiz boxed well. Congratulations. Hopefully they don’t rob you”.
“I came up on the short end of the stick once again,” lamented Ortiz. “Obviously we’ll go back to the drawing board, make some adjustments, and come back for another title shot. The fans know what happened. The media knows, my team knows. The whole world probably saw it my way, but the decision is already made. Boxrec and history will say that he won, but hopefully we get a rematch and I’ll make it more of a clear decision next time around.”
So, while the record books may not reflect the true winner of this sordid affair, the court of public opinion has spoken. Ortiz, in a dazzling display of skill, finesse, and sheer audacity, won the night, if not the title. In the grand circus of boxing, sometimes the showman doesn’t just steal the show; he becomes the legend.