This Thursday night during the week of the Super Bowl in Las Vegas, Teofimo Lopez defends his world title versus Jamaine Ortiz. Lopez was last seen in the ring in the month of June in 2023 when he defeated the lineal champ at junior welterweight Josh Taylor.
Can Lopez produce back-to-back consistent efforts vs. a game fighter? Can Ortiz spoil the summer plans of Teofimo Lopez and take over the lineal crown? This fight card will be broadcast live on ESPN and streaming on ESPN+.
Teofimo Lopez checks almost every box to become a legit star in the sport of boxing. He’s got a blend of legit boxing skills and flashy one-punch highlight reel knockouts. He has great timing and ring IQ; however, his one point of criticism inside the ring has been inconsistency. His outside-of-the-ring comments and issues result in taking his eye off the ball. Combined with his inflated worth as a true moneymaker, seemed to cause distraction at times. That said, we’ve also seen his team appear to be a complete mess only to perform at an elite level when the lights shine the brightest.
Lopez’s opponent, Jamaine Ortiz, made a splash on the scene back in 2022. Jamaine had three fights that year one of his victories came against former champion Jamel Herring. Even in a loss, Ortiz opened plenty of eyeballs with a sturdy outing versus Vasyl Lomchenko. Ortiz is moving up from the lightweight division, but it won’t be his first bout above 135. It should be noted those fights above the 135-pound division didn’t come against top level opposition.
Staying with Ortiz, he did have a great start in his bout with Lomachenko. At times he brought the pressure while landing quick and clean punches in combination. There were spots where he got caught admiring his shots, and it didn’t take all that long for Loma to adjust to his pressure. Once Loma began to cut the ring off on Jamaine, Ortiz was getting caught with flush punches and trapped on the ropes or in corners. Although not exactly the same, Ortiz and Lopez do fight in a similar manner.
Both guys are gifted athletically and can be explosive punchers. Both boxers are risk-takers, which presents opportunities to be countered. In this boxing podcaster’s mind, Teofimo is the more calculated risk-taker. One can point to the good and bad habits of each fighter’s footwork, which affects them offensively and defensively. Neither combatant is all that great at fundamental defense. That said, Teofimo’s reflexes and upper body movement are a step above Jamaine’s. The nuances, whether at range or in the trenches, are the key factors to determine a winner.
Teofimo has better timing and counter-punch abilities. Up close, Lopez is a bit craftier, able to clear space with his shoulder/elbow to land a short, accurate punch. This boxing junkie believes we will see Jamaine pressing the action in the early goings once we’re past the feel-out stage. Eventually, it will be Teofimo controlling the pace with a blend of aggression and pivoting on the outside. The fighter who establishes their jab will go a long way to winning rounds, especially in the first half of this fight. In the end, it will be a case of anything Jamaine Ortiz can do, Teofimo Lopez can do better.
My Official Prediction is Teofimo Lopez by Unanimous Decision.
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Side Note: The co-main is a good test for Keyshawn Davis facing a solid vet in Jose Pedraza. Also, keep an eye on one of the most talented prospects in the sport Abdullah Mason.
Written by Chris Carlson, Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio