Exclusive Interview: Jamaine Ortiz Talks WBO 140-LB Title Clash With Teofimo Lopez

Jamaine Ortiz targets his first world title as he takes on Teofimo Lopez for his WBO Junior Welterweight Belt during Super Bowl Week on February 8.

Ortiz has his first fight at 140 and has teamed up with Bill Haney to pull off a massive upset. His biggest fight thus far has been against his former sparring partner Vasiliy Lomachenko. Ortiz performed well in the first half of the fight before the Ukrainian pulled away with a unanimous decision win. The 140-pounder bounced back from the Loma defeat by beating Antonio Moran unanimously in his last fight. 

Lopez enters the fight as a massive favorite, beating the lineal champion Josh Taylor in his last fight to secure the WBO belt. The Takeover knows a victory places him in line for big unification fights against Devin Haney, Subriel Matias, Rolando Romero, or the outside chance of a Terence Crawford fight at 147. FIGHT SPORTS caught up with Ortiz ahead of this title clash. 

Key Quotes

Lessons from the Loma loss: “It was my first time going 12 rounds, so I took a lot. I learned how important the championship rounds are and how important it is to finish off strong. 

Why this is the toughest fight: “He’s younger…He’s a world champion right now. I know he wants to keep those belts.

On avenging his loss in the amateurs: “I’m getting my [own] back. I’m definitely gonna avenge that loss. Even though I was in the amateurs, this one actually matters a lot more than it did back then.

On why he doesn’t like Lopez: “I don’t have a personal relationship with him. I know before my fight against Vasiliy Lomachenko, he was saying that I wasn’t going to last four rounds. So he didn’t speak good of me. I don’t care for him.

On Lopez’s style: “He’s quick, agile, has athleticism. [These are] things that I’ve been commented on as well about myself. We’re both quick. Both can be explosive. Mentally, I think I’m tougher.

If Lopez was an animal: “A sheep. That was the first image that came in my head. He’s not a threat. I’m a [dog]. I could be loyal, but, you know, don’t mess with me when I’m eating. Don’t play with my food. [Lopez] is on my plate, and I’m going to eat my food.

On being underestimated: “I don’t pay too much attention to the media. I’m the underdog. It doesn’t affect me. It just makes me train harder. It makes me more motivated. It gives me more ambition to just prove everybody wrong.

Changes to his camp: “I brought in a different coach. I’m still working with my original coach, but I also brought in a different coach with me. And we’ve been working on a lot of different tactics. Just a lot of things that I’ve been lacking in my previous fights.

On the pressure: “I’m having fun. It’s my moment to showcase the world. This is the moment under the big lights to just be who I am, to be the technician, to be Jamaine Ortiz and to perform and to put on a show and to have the fans be excited and for them to love what they’re watching.

Why he will win: “It’s my time. I’m 27 years old. I’ve been seeing it for a long, long time. I’m prepared. I have all the tools. I got the right team behind me. I got everything for me to win this fight.

On what he has to prove: “I don’t got to prove nothing to nobody. I’m proving it to myself. Then I can have them eat their words.

On winning his first world title: “This is going to be one of the happiest moments of my life. Something that you worked so hard for as a kid, and finally, after you know the ups and downs, taking a loss, getting back up, oh man, amazing. 

Where To Watch Info

Watch Teofimo vs. Ortiz in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Ex-Yugoslavia, Romania, Greece, and Singapore on FIGHT SPORTS MAX.

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