Teófimo López and Jamaine Ortiz Headline Vegas Ahead of Super Bowl
Super Bowl LVIII will not be the only sporting event this week in Las Vegas, NV, as Teófimo López (19-1, 13 KOs) defends his WBO super lightweight title against Jamaine Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs).
The two fighters meet in the headliner of a card promoted by Top Rank in association with Takeover Promotions and CES Boxing. ESPN, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes will broadcast the clash at the Michelob ULTRA Arena, in addition to a lightweight bout between Keyshawn Davis (9-0, 6 KOs, 1 NC) and José Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs). All remaining fights will air live on ESPN+. López will be making the first defence of his world title against Ortiz.
Teófimo López and Jamaine Ortiz Clash for Super Lightweight Glory
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Teófimo López: ‘I’m Not Even in My Prime Yet’
Ahead of their clash on Feb. 8, both men spoke at a press conference. Below is just some of what was said by the fighters.
“I’m the big clown of the sport of boxing,” said López. “I’ve got to make everyone laugh. I’ve got a big nose for a reason.”
“It’s great to be back. I’m glad to see the talents coming through. But this is only the beginning for me. I’m 26 years young. I’m not even in my prime yet.”
“We have a tremendous dance partner. He’s wanted this fight for awhile. And we’ll do our thing.”
Jamaine Ortiz: ‘I’m Coming Here to Take His Head Off’
“There hasn’t been respect,” said Ortiz. “It’s a fight. I’m coming here to take his head off. It is what it is. There is a calm before the storm. you’ve got to know to keep control of your mind and body, especially before you go into battle.”
“I feel like I’m going to be the guy having the clown do whatever I want to do. It’s going to be that kind of show.”
“When I win Thursday night, it’s going to be a great night. I’m going to remember it for the rest of my life. It will be the day I became a world champion. It will be another step in my goal to getting other great fights and to continue building my legacy.”
Big Fight Weekend Prediction
Between the two, López is the one with greater experience at championship level. His last fight saw him win the WBO 140lb title with a unanimous decision over Josh Taylor. Previously, he was a lightweight champion, a reign that saw him claim the belt with a stoppage over Richard Commey and later unify against Vasiliy Lomachenko.
On the other hand, Ortiz will be fighting for a world title for the first time. However, that does not mean he should be overlooked as he consistently puts on good performances against quality opposition, even if the result does not go his way. In his only fight in 2021, he had an entertaining draw over Joseph Adorno. The following year saw Ortiz claim wins over Nahir Albright and Jamel Herring before losing a competitive bout against Lomachenko.
López appeared to return to his peak against Taylor and is similarly confident going into this fight. Pair that with a higher KO percentage than his opponent and you have a fighter who should be able to give Ortiz trouble. Big Fight Weekend predicts that Ortiz will make this yet another competitive bout, but López should have enough to get the unanimous decision win.
Full Press Conference
For the full press conference featuring López, Ortiz and other undercard fighters, click here or the play button below. Video courtesy of Top Rank.