Undefeated World Boxing Youth World lightweight champion Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz (12-0, 6 KOs) is on a mission to become the first Worcester-native to become world champion.
The second-largest city in New England, Worcester is located in Central Massachusetts, and it has a rich boxing history dating back nearly a century: two-division world champion Lou Brouillard, a Canadian import and International Boxing Hall of Famer, 1928 Olympic bronze medalist Leo Sawicki and, more recently, three-time, two- division world champion “El Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera, plus Worcester-born fighters Sean “The Irish” Express” Fitzgerald, four-time national amateur champion Bobby Harris and Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez, a two-time national champion.
Orttiz started boxing when he was only six years old at the Worcester Boys and Girls Club, under the expert guidance of National Golden Gloves Hall of Fame trainer Carlos Garcia, who has directed the boxing program there for nearly 40 years.
Garcia is on record saying the best boxer he’s ever worked with, including Rivera, is the naturally gifted Ortiz, who had an outstanding 100-14 amateur record, highlighted by a silver medal at the 2015 National Golden Gloves Tournament, losing to Teofimo Lopez (14-0,11 KOs) in the championship final. Ortiz turned pro after he lost to Gary Russell in the semifinals of the 2016 Olympic Trials. Lopez, incidentally, challenges International Boxing Federation (IBF) World lightweight champion Richard Commey on December 14 at Madison Square Garden.
“I was a big fan of Jose, Bobby and Edwin,” the 23-year-old Ortiz said. “I just want to prove it (best in Worcester) by becoming world champion soon, to be called (the best) that, not only by people close to me, but by people around the world.
“Right now, I believe I’m the best, not only in Worcester, but one of the top fighters in the New England area, no doubt about it.
Rivera and Fitzgerald are two of his most ardent supporters.
“Jamaine Ortiz is a future world champion,” Rivera predicted. “Boxers come up through different paths; some rely on pure talent, others through hard work and a lot of heart. Some may be more defensive, others are all offense, or those relying on their conditioning to get them to the top. Jamaine is the total package! At only 23, he is still learning and growing. When you combine his hunger, determination, hard work, talent, brains and heart, you have the recipe for a special champion.”
“The sky is the limit for Jamaine,” Fitzgerald added. “He has great ring awareness with fast hands. The best thing about Jamaine is that he is a great kid, well respected, and he doesn’t run the streets. It’s tough to win a world title, but I believe he has the best chance of doing it. I’m looking forward to seeing him reach the top of the mountain.”
Today, Worcester hosts a minor league hockey and indoor football teams. The city is changing rapidly and in 2021, it will be the new home of the Boston Red Sox’ AAA organization at Polar Park, which is being constructed now for an estimate construction cost of $100-million.
The Worcester dream for Jamaine’s promoter, Jimmy Burchfield (Classic Entertainment and Sports), co-advisers Richard Shappy and Eddie Imondi, and all of Worcester is for Jamaine Ortiz to capture or defend his world title right there at home in Polar Park.