I think Teofimo Lopez-Jamaine Ortiz is a 50/50, depends on Lopez’s mentality – Jorge Linares

Former three-weight world champion Jorge Linares is in Las Vegas to watch Teofimo Lopez-Jamaine Ortiz on Thursday night. The WBO super-lightweight title is on the line, with it being Lopez’s first defense and Ortiz’s first world title challenge. 

“I’m very good friends with Ortiz,” Linares said, in an exclusive interview for ProBox TV. “I am out here with my fighter Yan Marcos for training camp. I saw some of Jamaine’s training camp, and he looked good. He looks super strong, he has had an amazing training camp. I saw the last sparring of him, he looked great. He is ready, so I think this fight is a super big fight for him, but also for Lopez. I know Lopez too, and I think this is the best fighter at this weight.”

Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs) told ProBox TV that he expects to stop Lopez at the Michelob Arena tomorrow night.

“We never know, we never know,” Linares responded. “Boxing is like that. You can say anything you like before a fight, talking too much all the time. At the end of the day in the ring there are only two guys, you know what I mean. But, this is a very interesting fight, it is so exciting. 

“I don’t know who is going to win. I think it depends on Teofimo’s mentality…All the time! He always looks good, in great shape and stuff like that, but mentality is a very important thing. And you cannot always see that. I can see him now and I can see him at the weigh-in, but we never know how he is mentally for the fight. It will be interesting to see how he weighs in before the fight. I think it is an amazing fight, for me it is a 50/50. It’s a 50/50 for me because Ortiz is a young guy, a hungry guy who is being overlooked. Also for Teofimo, he has a lot of pressure on him to perform because he came out of retirement.”

Lopez makes the maiden defense of his world title as a two-weight world champion after defeating Josh Taylor last summer. 

“He is good, he is really good,” Linares added. “You know what, he made a good decision to take a little time out and get some rest in a specific way with all the things he had in the past. I think that he has made a good decision to come back to the ring because he is a young guy. We would like to see him more active. He has had an amazing career, so why not? Everybody wants to see him. I’m excited to see this fight.”