Jamaine Ortiz plans to upset Teofimo Lopez LIVE on ESPN Tonight

By Amy A Kaplan - 02/08/2024 - Comments

Lopez-Ortiz and Davis-Pedraza are set to rumble live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ when the clock strikes 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time, or for those on Pacific Time, it’s a 7:30 p.m. start. For the night owls across the pond, Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Arena will kick off the show at 1:30 a.m. GMT.

For what feels like an eternity, Ortiz has been playing the boxing equivalent of ‘Marco Polo’, seeking out anyone who’s anyone in the lightweight and junior welterweight divisions. From Shakur Stevenson to Devin Haney, Ortiz seemed determined to spar with the shadowy figures atop the boxing world. But, lo and behold, it’s an old sparring buddy who’s stepped up to the challenge.

In a stunning revelation on The Final Bell podcast, just a heartbeat away from the big night, Ortiz shared, “Honestly, I’m as baffled as a deer in headlights about how this whole showdown came together. Crossed paths with Teofimo at another fight, and suddenly, my phone’s buzzing. Go figure.”

Ah, but this isn’t just any fight, it’s the fight, staged with the glitzy backdrop of Vegas, no less, right before the Super Bowl, because why not add more spectacle to the week? Here we have two fighters, both hailing from the storied Northeast, ready to duke it out for the title of junior welterweight king.

Reflecting on their 2015 tango where Lopez won, Ortiz mused, “It was quite the tussle, almost had him. Guess it’s time to even the score, right?”

Their paths to this moment were as predictable as a Rocky montage. Lopez shot up the ranks, gathering belts like they were going out of style, until George Kambosos played the spoiler. Then, deciding lightweight was too lightweight for him, Lopez jumped up a class and started collecting more shiny things. Ortiz, not to be outdone, made his own waves, even giving Lomachenko a run for his money ina great fight.

Now, with Top Rank and CES Boxing waving his banner, Ortiz is ready to step up and face Lopez, the ‘showman of the sport’, because every circus needs its main act.

Ortiz, ever the diplomat, acknowledged, “He’s the cream of the 140 crop, no doubt. Facing him is like climbing Everest, but hey, someone’s got to do it.”

Despite the mutual respect, Ortiz hinted at an edge, a cool composure that he believes will be the ace up his sleeve. “We might as well be mirror images, but when it comes to keeping cool, I’m the Arctic.”

While Lopez’s ring antics are as wild as a reality TV show, Ortiz prides himself on a more chilled vibe, reminiscent of the stoic warriors of yore. Yet, don’t mistake his calm for a lack of firepower; he’s got moves that could make Lomachenko do a double-take.

Ortiz, with a twinkle in his eye, speculated, “Not sure Teofimo’s ever danced with someone who packs a punch like mine. My speed, my agility, he’s in for quite the surprise.”

And as for any distractions Lopez might be entertaining, Ortiz isn’t sweating it. “I’m prepping for the best of him, no matter the online chit-chat. My eyes are on the prize, and that’s that.”

Ortiz is all fired up, ready to snag that championship and bring it back to Worcester, where the streets will surely be lined with, well, a few folks ready to cheer.

With a nod and a wink, Ortiz declared, “The hard part’s done, now it’s just about strutting our stuff in the ring. I’m pumped for my title shot and ready to make some noise. Worcester’s got my back, and we’re planning quite the shindig for my triumphant return. You’d be mad to miss this brawl.”

Before the main event rolls around, the ESPN+ will be warming up the crowd from 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT with a slew of undercard fights. In the mix, we’ve got Javier Martinez, sans the “Milwaukee Made” moniker, boasting a 9-0-1 record with 3 KOs. He’s going toe-to-toe with Raul Salomon, who’s not too shabby himself at 12-2 with 10 KOs, for an eight-round middleweight tussle.

Lightweights Abdullah Mason (11-0, 9 KOs) and Charlie Sheehy (8-0, 5 KOs) are also stepping back into the ring for separate eight-round skirmishes. Mason’s set to duke it out with Benjamin Gurment (8-0-3, 5 KOs), while Sheehy’s dancing partner for the evening is Abdel Sauceda (12-3, 8 KOs).

And let’s not forget about lightweight hopeful Alan Garcia, ditching the “Kid Kansas” alias, who’s putting his perfect 10-0, 8 KOs record on the line in a six-round scrap against Tomas Ornelas (7-3, 5 KOs). It’s shaping up to be a night filled with leather and grit, folks. Grab your popcorn.

So, tune in for “The Showman Returns: Teofimo vs. Ortiz” airing at the prime time of 8:30pm tonight from the Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas, on ESPN. Because, really, what else were you going to do tonight?

Last Updated on 02/08/2024