Teofimo Lopez outpoints reluctant Jamaine Ortiz in uneventful world title defence

Teofimo Lopez made a successful first defence of his WBO super lightweight title against Jamaine Ortiz in an uneventful affair that drew boos from those in attendance at the Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday evening.

The fight started quietly and ended in a similar manner. In between its beginning and conclusion, there was little that stood out until Ortiz celebrated as though he had won at the final bell, at which point Lopez was rightly awarded scores of 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113. 

From the opening bell Lopez, 26, took the centre of the ring, and Ortiz worked from its perimeter with a southpaw stance, despite being a right handed fighter. 

The same theme continuing contributed to the crowd booing as early as the second round. Excluding Ortiz landing an accurate left hand early on, neither fighter convincingly connected with punches of authority – both instead just missed the target. Plenty of punches were thrown, but their good movement meant that most missed. Ortiz’s more negative tactics also contributed.

Lopez landing a right hand to close out the third round was followed by little until the fifth, when he goaded Ortiz forward into the corner while his knees were bent, and while Ortiz landed a right hand, Lopez in turn countered with a further right.

A clash of heads with a minute left in the seventh round caused blood to trickle from by Ortiz’s eyebrow. Lopez ended the round strongly, by landing successive uppercuts, and Ortiz returned to being elusive and fighting on the back foot.

Lopez's frustration, in the 10th round, was on course to match that of the crowd – some of which were starting to leave. He then landed a right to the head to open the 11th round, by when the little ambition the 27-year-old Ortiz had previously had appeared to have vanished. 

“We cannot, for one second, claim these people, these fighters, that don’t wanna come and fight,” Lopez said. “You go to blood, sweat and tears, the three codes of conduct, Sugar Ray Robinson Award. If you ain’t ready for this life, get the fuck out of my sport.”

Lopez’s record improves to 20-1 (13 KOs) while Ortiz recorded a second career defeat, his record moving to 17-2-1 (8 KOs).