When Jamaine Ortiz heard ring announcer Mark Shunock read the first score, 117-111, he thought there was no way he could’ve been declared the loser of his 12-round title fight with Teofimo Lopez.
When Shunock announced the other two scores, 115-113 apiece, Ortiz still believed that he had done enough to win the WBO junior welterweight championship from Lopez on Thursday night in Las Vegas. Long after the decision was announced, Ortiz still couldn’t understand how the heavily favored Lopez won a unanimous decision and retained his 140-pound crown at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena.
The Worcester, Massachusetts native realizes their fight wasn’t entertaining, but Ortiz argued that he effectively employed the necessary, smart strategy required to win the first world title fight of his seven-year pro career.
“Came up on the short end of the stick once again to the boxing game,” Ortiz told a group of reporters afterward. “Politics as usual. But man, I really felt like I dominated the fight. He couldn’t touch me. Besides the head-butt, my face is clean. He couldn’t land a shot to the body, couldn’t land a shot to the head. I made him miss. I catched him with a check hook. Every time he tried to come in, I was landing the left, the jab. I just felt like I did what I came to do. The fight could’ve been – it was probably a little bit boring, but I did what I had to do to win the fight.”
Judge Steve Weisfeld scored nine rounds for Lopez, 117-111. Judges Tim Cheatham and David Sutherland scored seven rounds apiece for Lopez (20-1, 13 KOs), who won 115-113 on both of their cards.
“When I heard 117-111, there was no way he coulda won with those scorecards,” Ortiz said. “I’ll tell you that for sure, so I thought I had it in the bag. And then, 115-113, I’m like, ‘All right, they’re trying to give him some leeway there with the 115-113,’ but 117-111 was pretty ridiculous.”
Ortiz led by the same score, 86-85, entering the 10th round on the cards of Cheatham and Sutherland. Lopez won the 10th, 11th and 12th rounds on their cards to finish ahead by two points.
Weisfeld had Lopez in front 87-84 after the ninth round. The former unified lightweight champion, who entered the ring as a 7-1 favorite, won the last three rounds on Weisfeld’s card as well.
The 27-year-old Ortiz is right-handed, but he fought from a southpaw stance throughout their bout. Ortiz (17-2-1, 8 KOs) boxed almost exclusively off of his back foot and made Lopez pursue him.
Though more aggressive, Lopez followed Ortiz around the ring for 12 rounds and never cut the ring off, which enabled Ortiz to remain on the move.
CompuBox’s unofficial punch stats were reflective of a boring bout that lacked action.
Ortiz landed two more punches overall, according to CompuBox’s count (80-of-409 to 78-of-364). CompuBox counted six more power punches for Lopez (66-of-203 to 60-of-205) and eight more jabs for Ortiz (20-of-204 to 12-of-161).
Nevertheless, Ortiz doesn’t think their fight was as close as the punch stats suggest.
“Besides knocking him out, that’s the only thing that there is to do,” Ortiz said. “You know, once he’s laid on his ass and can’t get up, that’s the only thing we can really do. That’s the only way you can’t be denied.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.