Teofimo Lopez retained his WBO super lightweight title with a win over Jamaine Ortiz tonight in Las Vegas, but not in the style that he likely wanted to showcase.
Lopez took unanimous cards of 115-113, 115-113, and 117-111. Bad Left Hook unofficially scored the fight 115-113 Lopez and 114-114.
Teofimo (20-1, 13 KO) had difficulty all night cutting off the ring and landing much of real consequence, but Ortiz (17-2-1, 8 KO) wasn’t exactly setting the ring on fire, either, largely opting to avoid action and also not landing much of anything worth noting.
It was, in short, a lousy fight to watch, and one where Teofimo badly wanted his opponent to engage more, but also has to be held accountable for failing to set Ortiz up or, again, cut off the ring at all, sticking to the same things that weren’t really working throughout the fight, and never getting on his jab at all.
It’s another performance that’s going to garner so-so reviews for Lopez, so that would be the fourth time in his last five fights, with only last year’s win over Josh Taylor otherwise, and it’s fair to wonder — now, for sure — how much that really meant, given Taylor’s career state at the time and since.
“We cannot for one second claim these people, these fighters, that don’t want to come and fight,” Teofimo said. “You go to blood, sweat, and tears. The three code of conduct, Sugar Ray Robinson award. If you ain’t ready for this life, get the fuck out of my sport. I am a champion. I bleed for this, I sweat for this, and I cry for this every time.”
“I tried my best to do what I can for the people. I even tried to box going backwards and (Ortiz) did not want to commit,” he added. “Anybody that wants to step in the ring, let’s get it on. I am champion, I am king, and the king stays king.”
Ortiz isn't backing away from Teo's challenge pic.twitter.com/h2WCUSUfiD— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) February 9, 2024
In the chief support bout, lightweight prospect Keyshawn Davis delivered what anyone could have hoped, pretty well dominating veteran Jose Pedraza en route to a sixth round stoppage victory.
Davis (10-0, 7 KO) looked clearly better than in his previous fight, and scored a career-best win here over Pedraza (29-6-1, 14 KO), who was returning to the 135 lb division with this fight and, well, it didn’t work out, as the younger, fresher fighter on the rise was way too quick and dialed in for him, and Pedraza frankly seemed to be attempting to fight in a style that isn’t really his, in a Hail Mary play to score what would have been a huge upset. That also didn’t work out.