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Thursday, January 4, 2024

Lopez-Ortiz & Davis-Pedraza Doubleheader

LAS VEGAS (Jan. 4, 2024) — The lineal junior welterweight king is ready for a super show.
Teofimo Lopez will defend his WBO and Ring Magazine titles against Jamaine Ortiz on Thursday, Feb. 8, at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Lopez-Ortiz headlines an action-packed televised doubleheader that kicks off Big Game Weekend.

In the 10-round lightweight co-feature, U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis faces Puerto Rican former two-division world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Takeover Promotions and CES Boxing, tickets go on sale Friday, Jan. 5 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at

Lopez-Ortiz and Davis-Pedraza will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.

“Teofimo Lopez is among the best fighters in the world and always wants to fight the best available opponent. Jamaine Ortiz is a supreme talent who fits the bill,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “I believe Keyshawn Davis is a future world champion, but you can never count out a skilled two-weight world champion like Jose Pedraza. What a fantastic doubleheader for the fans watching on ESPN and at Michelob ULTRA Arena.”

Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) captured the IBF lightweight world title by defeating Richard Commey via second-round knockout in December 2019. The following October, he bested pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko to win the WBA, WBO, and WBC Franchise titles. Thirteen months later, he lost the belts via a shocking split decision to George Kambosos Jr. The 26-year-old then moved up to junior welterweight in August 2022 with a seventh-round TKO against Pedro Campa and a split decision over Spanish southpaw Sandor Martin that December. In his latest fistic tour de force, Lopez upset former undisputed champion Josh Taylor to capture the WBO and Ring Magazine titles.

Lopez said. "February 8 at Mandalay Bay, 'The Takeover' will entertain inside that squared circle as only I can! To the boxing fans around the world, I look to not only dominate and break down Jamaine Ortiz but to do it in such a fashion that my division will be put on alert.“

"Jamaine is tough. I would know, because I faced him back in the amateur days in 2015 for the National Golden Gloves Championship. I'll show the world that champions don't flinch when faced with challenges. They rise and shine the brightest when the stakes are highest. This one is for all my people on the Takeover Express! Let’s show the world once again what real boxing looks like.”

Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs), a seven-year pro, secured the NABF lightweight title by outpointing Nahir Albright in February 2022. The Worcester, Massachusetts, native then notched a decision win against former world champion Jamel "Semper Fi" Herring that May and rounded off the year with an exceptional showing against Lomachenko. Ortiz dropped the tightly contested battle to “Loma” by unanimous decision but responded with a one-sided points verdict over Antonio Moran in September.

Ortiz said, “This is the most important fight of my career. It’s my first world title bout. I believe this fight will bring out the very best in me, and I’m looking forward to coming home as the new champion!”

Davis (9-0, 6 KOs), from Norfolk, Virginia, has graduated from prospect to contender and is inching closer to a world title opportunity. After going 3-0 as a pro, he captured a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. In November 2021, he signed a long-term promotional contract with Top Rank and has since tallied six victories. He had an active 2023 in which he stopped Anthony Yigit via ninth-round TKO in April and shut out Francesco Patera by a 10-round decision in July. In October, he bested Philadelphia-born contender Nahir Albright by a majority decision that was later ruled a no-contest by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation due to a positive marijuana test.

“I have all the respect in the world for Jose Pedraza and what he’s accomplished in the pro game,” Davis said. “This is the type of step-up I need to get to the next level, and I know Pedraza will bring his A-game. It’s his last chance to get back to title contention, but I won’t let that happen. I will show out for the fans in Las Vegas and everyone watching on ESPN.”

Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs), from Cidra, Puerto Rico, won the IBF junior lightweight world title against Andrey Klimov in June 2015 and made title defenses against Edner Cherry and Stephen Smith. He captured the WBO lightweight world title against Rey Beltran in August 2018. After losing the title in a unification showdown against Lomachenko, he moved up to 140 pounds, where he faced the likes of Jose Zepeda, Jose Ramirez, Richard Commey, Lindolfo Delgado and Arnold Barboza Jr. Pedraza returns to the lightweight division in hopes of another world title run.

Pedraza said, “Keyshawn Davis is going to experience what it's like to face a two-division world champion. He’s never faced a boxer of my caliber, nor has he faced anyone even close to the caliber of my toughest opponents. He wants to continue climbing up the ranks, but on February 8, he’ll be falling off the ladder.”

The ESPN+-streamed undercard features a gamut of up-and-coming talents.

19-year-old lightweight phenom, Emiliano Fernando Vargas (8-0, 7 KOs), son of former junior middleweight world champion Fernando Vargas, will see action in a six-round clash against Tomas Ornelas (7-3, 5 KOs). Vargas went 6-0 with five knockouts in his sophomore year as a pro and is coming off a second-round destruction of Brandon Mendoza in November at T-Mobile Arena.

Lightweight prodigy Abdullah Mason (11-0, 9 KOs) will fight Benjamin Gurment (8-0-3, 5 KOs) in his first scheduled eight-rounder. Mason will look to capitalize on his 5-0 2023 campaign, which included a second-round TKO versus Jose Cardenas in November.

Unbeaten middleweight Javier "Milwaukee Made" Martinez (9-0-1, 3 KOs) will take on Raul Salomon (12-2, 10 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Martinez dropped Isaiah Wise three times en route to a first-round knockout in November.

Former Team USA amateur standout Charlie Sheehy (8-0, 5 KOs) will step up to the eight-round distance for the first time. Sheehy vanquished Jesus Vasquez Jr. by unanimous decision in November.

Unbeaten lightweight prospect Alan “Kid Kansas” Garcia (10-0, 8 KOs), the power-punching dynamo from Ulysses, Kansas, sees action in a six-rounder.

Former national amateur champion Art Barrera Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs) returns to the ring in a four-round junior welterweight fight.

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