Jamaine Ortiz On Getting Hurt By Antonio Moran: People Know I Can Take A Shot, I’m Resilient

Boxing Scene

Jamaine Ortiz withstood some troublesome moments during his only fight since he gave Vasiliy Lomachenko a more difficult fight than expected.

Antonio Moran hurt Ortiz twice in the Worcester, Massachusetts native’s last fight. Mexico’s Moran nailed Ortiz with a left hook to his head in the second round of their 10-rounder September 15 at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, and affected Ortiz again with a left to his body early in the fifth round.

The tough Ortiz overcame both of those shots to regain control of the action.

Ortiz, who turned southpaw, nearly knocked out Moran when he landed a right hook toward the end of the fifth round. He also staggered Moran when Ortiz landed a straight left late in the eighth round.

Moran made it all the way to the final bell that night, but Ortiz beat him decisively on the scorecards of judges Chris Flores (99-91), Robert Hoyle (98-92) and Steve Weisfeld (97-93). The 27-year-old Ortiz’s victory over Moran (30-6-1, 21 KOs) enabled him to land his first world title shot – a 12-round fight against Teofimo Lopez on Thursday night at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.

Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) has predicted that he’ll knock out Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs), yet the challenger is certain that he displayed durability and toughness during his victory over Moran.

“People know from my past fights that I can take a shot, that I’m resilient, and that I don’t fear anything,” Ortiz told BoxingScene.com. “I’m here to fight. I’m not afraid to trade blows and I’m resilient.”

Ortiz wants boxing fans to come away from this fight knowing that he is good enough to beat a champion on Lopez’s level, not just test a legend like Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KOs).

“I think it’s the biggest challenge of my career, most definitely,” Ortiz said. “My job is to make it look easy. Just the magnitude of the fight, you know, this is my first time fighting for a world title, so that’s what’s expected, for it to be the biggest challenge, especially when it’s the biggest fight of my career.”

DraftKings sportsbook has listed Lopez as a 7-1 favorite to win this 12-round fight for his WBO junior welterweight title. Ortiz realizes, though, that this is his opportunity to completely change his life by winning a main event ESPN will broadcast three nights before the Chiefs and 49ers are scheduled to play in Super Bowl LVIII a short distance across I-15 at Allegiant Stadium.

“It would mean everything,” Ortiz said. “I’ll make everyone around me proud – not only my family, but my friends, my community, my city, the state of Massachusetts. I know everybody will be proud. I come from a winning state. You know, we’ve got the Boston Celtics, the New England Patriots, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Red Sox, and then we’ll have Jamaine Ortiz as another celebrated world champion. It’s gonna be great. I can see it now – there will be a statue and banners of Jamaine Ortiz as a world champion.”

ESPN’s two-bout broadcast is set to start at 10:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT). Lightweights Keyshawn Davis (9-0, 6 KOs, 1 NC), of Norfolk, Virginia, and Jose Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs), of Cidra, Puerto Rico, will square off in the 10-round co-feature.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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