Teofimo Lopez: I Did Everything I Could Do Against Jamaine Ortiz; He Didn’t Wanna Compete

Boxing Scene

Teofimo Lopez implored Jamaine Ortiz to stand and fight many times Thursday night.

A disciplined, composed Ortiz remained committed, though, to his mundane game plan throughout their 12-round, 140-pound championship match. Ortiz fought from a southpaw stance from the start of their fight until the final bell, competed almost exclusively off of his back foot and frustrated Lopez because he wasn’t willing to engage for more than a few seconds at a time.

The 27-year-old Ortiz believes he “dominated the fight,” but Lopez criticized the reluctant contender for failing to take the WBO junior welterweight title from him in a main event ESPN televised from Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas. The heavily favored Lopez won a unanimous decision because judges Steve Weisfeld (117-111), Tim Cheatham (115-113) and David Sutherland (115-113) scored their fight for the former unified lightweight champion.

Lopez insisted during a post-fight interview with a group of reporters that he did everything possible to press the action against Ortiz.

“Oh, to me, man, 10 outta 10,” Lopez said of his performance. “I’m being real with you guys, 10 outta 10. I did everything I could do against Jamaine Ortiz. I hit him with the shots that I needed to hit him with. I was quick on my feet, I was defensive. You know what I’m saying? And at the same time, you know, I was just waiting for him to do his thing and he didn’t wanna compete.”

Lopez landed two fewer punches over the course of 12 rounds, according to CompuBox’s unofficial statistics (80-of-409 to 78-of-364). CompuBox credited Lopez for landing six more power punches (66-of-203 to 60-of-205) and Ortiz for connecting with eight more jabs (20-of-204 to 12-of-161).

Weisfeld nonetheless scored nine rounds for Lopez, who won seven rounds apiece according to Cheatham and Sutherland. The 26-year-old Lopez appreciated that the judges didn’t reward Ortiz for moving away from him for 12 rounds, however effective that strategy might’ve seemed.

“Mainly it’s just, you know, what can we do at this point?,” Lopez said. “People calling me out, people are saying a lotta things, but they don’t wanna – when they feel these punches and the ring IQ and everything, the game changes, as you guys could see tonight. I even tried to back up on the ropes to see if he’ll take action, and the TV doesn’t lie, the fight didn’t lie, and we came victorious.”

Ortiz (17-2-1, 8 KOs) defended himself efficiently and prevented Lopez from cutting off the ring, which helped the methodical challenger stick to his game plan. Las Vegas’ Lopez (20-1, 13 KOs) argued, though, that his defense was extraordinary as well.

“How can I lose a round when there’s a guy that’s not really being effective? He’s not,” Lopez said. “The early rounds, too, it was not – it could look all this and that, but I’m blocking, slipping, moving. Come on, I thought we knew boxing, guys. That’s all defense right there. Remember Willie Pep? He won one round without throwing a punch. Where’s that at?”

Lopez also questioned Ortiz’s safe strategy because the Worcester, Massachusetts native repeatedly promised that he would knock out Lopez, who entered the ring as a 7-1 favorite.

“Well, you’re gonna rip my poster, you’re gonna disrespect me, I expect a tough fight,” Lopez said. “You know what I’m saying? My frustration is, ‘Come on and fight. Come on and fight. Now you know it’s real.’ You know, and what do they do? Obviously, it shows. So, I could do only what I can do.”

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

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