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Teofimo Lopez’s Mental Battle Takes Center Stage In Title Defense Against Jamaine Ortiz On Saturday


Teofimo Lopez defends his WBO light welterweight title against Jamaine Ortiz in the main event, and lightweight contender Keyshawn Davis, fresh off a disappointing effort, fights Jose Pedraza in the co-main this Saturday in a double-header on ESPN and ESPN+ at 10:30 p.m. ET from the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.

(Photo credit: Top Rank)

Fans will focus on Teofimo (19-1, 13 KOs) in the headliner to see if he struggles against Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs). It’s been Teofimo’s pattern to turn in a poor performance after looking good in his previous fight.

Can He Overcome His Demons?

Teofimo is shaky mentally and doesn’t seem to be able to fight well when he’s expected to win. The fights that he does well are ones where fans are doubting him, and he reacts well to being dismissed.

If Teofimo loses this fight, fans aren’t going to buy into his injury excuses that he pulls out of his hat as he did after his loss to George Kambosos Jr. and his controversial win over Sandor Martin.

“I’ll die in the ring if I have to, and I have. I died when I faced George Kambosos, and I’m still here,” said Teofimo Lopez to Top Rank Boxing. “So, I know what it takes to win, and I also know what happens when I lose.

“It teaches you experiences, it takes you lessons, and it teaches you trials and lessons. That’s really what it is, and I had to go through that. When I fought Sandor Martin, I actually broke my left hand prior to facing him.

“Getting so close to a fight, you’re going to take the fight. I’m my worst critic. We know how to push ourselves to our limit. I think it’s time people see how I really am. Yeah, do I still got it?

“I know when I went into this fight with Josh Taylor, I didn’t have a full recovery on my left hand. I knew this was my only opportunity. I said, ‘Forget it. I’ll fight through the pain and we’ll make this work,’” said Teofimo.

Ortiz Ready to Capitalize

“I’m putting my life on the line, and I’m not going to have it go to waste,” said Jamaine Ortiz. “I’m going to make it worth it. I expect the best out of myself. I just want to push myself to my full capacity. I want to see the full potential.”

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