Perhaps not since James Toney has boxing seen a talent quite like Teofimo Lopez at the elite level. Lopez, just 23, proved capable of defeating Vasyl Lomachenko to unify the lightweight division. Last year, he dominated undefeated Josh Taylor to capture history’s crown at 140 pounds. 

In between, he managed to lose to George Kambosos and came off the floor for a debatable decision over Sandor Martin. Lopez doesn’t battle the scale the way Toney did, but it’s hard to think of another fighter today that can swing so dramatically in the ring. 

There is no question about the talent. Lopez has speed, power, reflexes, and personality. Now in the latter half of his 20s, can he add consistency? The first test of that, post-Taylor, comes Thursday (ESPN, 10:30 PM EST). Jamaine Ortiz, who has been competing at lightweight, will attempt to better a game but losing performance versus Lomachenko two fights ago.

Can Ortiz do more than that, and stun Lopez one more time coming off a career exploding victory?   

Let’s get into it. 

Stats and Stakes

Teofimo Lopez

Age: 26

Title: Lineal World/TBRB/Ring/WBO Jr. Welterweight (2023-Present, 1st Defense); 

Previous Titles: IBF lightweight (2019-21, 1 Defense); Lineal World/TBRB/Ring/WBA/WBO/WBC “Franchise” Lightweight (2020-21)

Height: 5’8 

Weight: 139 ½ lbs.

Stance: Orthodox

Hails from: Brooklyn, New York

Record: 19-1, 13 KO

Record in Major Title Fights: 3-1, 1 KO

Last Five Opponents: 126-4-1 (.966)

Notable Outcomes, TBRB and/or Ring Rated Foes: Richard Commey TKO2; Vasyl Lomachenko UD12; George Kambosos L12; Sandor Martin SD10; Josh Taylor UD12

Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: None


Jamaine Ortiz 

Age: 27

Title: None

Previous Titles: None

Height: 5’8   

Weight: 139 ½ lbs.

Stance: Orthodox

Hails from: Worcester, Massachusetts

Record: 17-1-1, 8 KO

Press Rankings: At 135 - #8 (ESPN), #9 (BoxRec), #10 (TBRB, Ring)

Record in Major Title Fights: 1st Title Opportunity

Last Five Opponents: 96-11-2 (.890)

Notable Outcomes, TBRB and/or Ring Rated Foes: Jamel Herring UD10; Vasyl Lomachenko L12; 

Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: None

The Pick: Last time Lopez shocked the world, he then squandered a year of his career, seemingly thinking his win over Vasyl Lomachenko was a gate to instant stardom instead of just a significant step on the way there. His first fight back, he was dropped early and ultimately outdueled by a George Kambosos who came to win. Ortiz showed against Lomachenko that he’s no pushover and will have that experience to draw on in the biggest opportunity of his career.

This time, the thinking is Lopez won’t falter. He knows what happened after Lomachenko and that has to be motivating. Ortiz doesn’t have any particular advantages in height or length and Lopez appears to have the edge in both speed and power. Ortiz has a smart jab and may have more output than Lopez but the return fire will start to add up over time. This could be pretty competitive for the first half but eventually Lopez is going to land big and take over for good. The pick is Lopez, by decision or late stoppage.           

Rold Picks 2024: 4-0

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at