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Jamaine Ortiz Big Win May Send Herring Into Retirement

Jamaine Ortiz Big Win Sent Herring Into Retirement

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Jamaine Ortiz Big Win May Send Herring Into Retirement

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Jamaine Ortiz Big Win May Send Herring Into Retirement

In the Top Rank Boxing Saturday night co-feature, lightweight Jamaine Ortiz scored his biggest win when he came on strong in the second half of a fight and outpointed former WBO junior lightweight titlist Jamel Herring.

Ortiz won 97-93, 97-93 and 96-94 to hand Herring his second loss in a row and send him into retirement.

“He was just quicker on the trigger,” Herring said. “He had a better output. I wasn’t tired or anything. He just beat me to the draw. I have to think about it, but tonight, I don’t think I am where I need to be. Jamaine was just the better man. Maybe this is it.”

Soon after former U.S. Marine Herring left the ring, he posted to social media that he was indeed calling it a career.

“I love this sport, but I owe it to my family to quit putting them through these moments,” Herring wrote on Twitter. “Thank you all, whether you were with or against me, you made me who I am, but it’s time. Semper Fi, salute.”

Ortiz landed many solid right hands and uppercuts against a clearly slower Herring, who badly faded in the final few rounds.

Herring (23-4, 11 KOs), 36, of Coram, New York, was fighting for the first time since losing his 130-pound belt by one-sided 10th-round knockout to Shakur Stevenson in October. It was also Herring’s first fight with trainer Manny Robles after splitting with Brian McIntyre.

Ortiz (16-0-1, 8 KOs), 26, of Worcester, Massachusetts, won his second fight in a row since an eight-round majority draw with Joseph Adorno 13 months ago and accomplished a goal he said he had before Saturday’s fight, which was to defeat a former world champion.

According to CompuBox, Ortiz landed 186 of 596 punches (31 percent) and Herring landed 115 of 429 (27 percent). Ortiz was especially effective in the final two rounds as he landed 90 punches. His 46 landed shot in the 10th round were the most by a Herring opponent.

“I still got a lot of work to do,” Ortiz said. “I’m just growing and going at the pace I’m going. I gotta learn quick. I gotta pick things up a little bit. I’m not afraid of challenges, and I’m here to prove I’m the best to myself, not anyone else.

“I feel like I could’ve done a lot better, a lot cleaner performance. I’m hard on myself. I’m always going to be hard on myself. I’m always going to be hard on myself. Much respect to a former world champion. That was an achievement I wanted to do in my career. I think I may move up to 140, but if there’s a big fight for a championship or a big name, I may stay at 135.”

Johnson stops Kucharski

In the opener televised opener, 2020 Olympian Tiger Johnson knocked out Agustin Kucharski (8-5-1, 3 KOs), 25, of Argentina, in the third round of their scheduled six-round welterweight bout.
Johnson (4-0, 3 KOs), 23, of Cleveland, scored two knockdowns in the third round before getting the stoppage at 54 seconds.

About 30 seconds into the third round, Johnson scored the first knockdown with a right hand, but Kucharski quickly beat the count.

Moments later, Johnson connected with another right hand that dropped Kucharski to his knees and although he again beat the count, his corner threw in a white towel and referee Celestino Ruiz waved off the bout.

Among results from preliminary action that streamed on ESPN+:
Featherweight Duke Ragan (6-0, 1 KO), 24, a 2020 U.S. Olympic silver medalist from Cincinnati, Ohio, cruised to a shutout decision against Victorino Gonzalez (5-3, 2 KOs), 28, of Pawleys Island, South Carolina. Ragan won 40-36 on all three scorecards.

Former junior featherweight world titlist Jessie Magdaleno (29-1, 18 KOs), 30, of Las Vegas, ended a 22-month layoff for a shutout eight-round decision against fellow southpaw Edy Valencia Mercado (19-7-6, 7 KOs), 31, of Mexico, in a featherweight bout. Magdaleno won 80-72 on all three scorecards. It was his fourth win in a row since losing his 122-pound title to Isaac Dogboe by 11th-round knockout in 2018, after which Magdaleno moved up in weight.

Glendale, California, featherweight Adam “Blunose” Lopez (16-3, 6 KOs), 26, won an eight-round decision over William Encarnacion (19-3, 15 KOs), 33, of the Dominican Republic, via scores of 77-74, 77-74 and 76-74 but had to get off the deck from two knockdowns. Encarnacion dropped Lopez in the first round with a right hand and then again with a right hand in the third round, but Lopez was otherwise in control.

Junior lightweight Karlos Balderas (13-1, 11 KOs), 25, a 2016 U.S. Olympian from Santa Maria, California, dropped Ruben Cervera (13-3, 11 KOs), 24, of Colombia, twice in a unanimous decision win. Balderas won 58-54, 58-54 and 57-55 to notch an upset loss in 2019.

Since 2000, award-winning reporter Dan Rafael has covered boxing full time and been ringside for thousands of fights, first for five years at USA Today and then for 15 years at ESPN, where he wrote and appeared on various television, radio and streaming programs. In 2013, Dan was honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America with the Nat Fleischer award for career excellence in boxing journalism. Dan brings his great insight to the Big Fight Weekend site, podcast and more!

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