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Training Camp Check-In: Jamaine Ortiz

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Training Camp Check-In: Jamaine Ortiz

On Friday, February 18th, ShoBox The New Generation returns with a tripleheader live from Orlando, Fl. The main event will feature lightweight prospect Jamaine Ortiz (14-0-1), putting his undefeated record on the line against Nahir Albright (14-1).

This article will focus on the twenty-five-year-old Jamaine Ortiz out of Worcester, MA, whose recent rise in notoriety has been the only example coming out of these celebrity events. But before we get into that and more, it is always good to better understand the come up that led to that moment in his career.

Showtime returns with ShoBox on April 5, 2019.

As mentioned earlier, Jamaine Ortiz is a proud member of the Worcester, MA community as he was born and raised there. He grew up with six siblings (four brothers and two sisters), but as life would have it, things were different from the start as his mother and father lived in two separate households. Although Jamaine grew up mainly with his mother, he also spent some time living with his father, which he described as “normal” because he was just a kid when it was happening.

Growing up in that fashion can often bring a difference in opinions and raising a child from two different backgrounds. Ortiz’s father is Puerto Rican, while his mother is Dominican. His father was the disciplinarian, while his mother was the one that offered a little more freedom when he was with her. Hence why, Jamaine enjoyed being around his mother more than his father. One thing that both parents agreed on was that they wanted their son in boxing. Jamaine Ortiz was introduced to the sport at the young age of seven. Jamaine said, “My dad was the one that put the gloves on me and had me fight outside. My mom was the one that signed me up to the boys and girls club, which is how I got into boxing.”

A young Jamaine Ortiz coming up in the amateurs.

At first, Ortiz was just going through the motions of boxing but eventually grew into it with the help of a nearby mentor. Ortiz told NYF, “I grew into it as my coach Carlos Garcia who was my mentor & father figure, was the one that took care of me and kept me close. “As he continued to gain interest in boxing, it wasn’t until Jamaine was fourteen when he finally realized this is what he was meant to do. Ortiz said, “When I was 14, I told myself that this is who I am and what I want to do. That’s when I started to make all of the physical sacrifices.”

As Ortiz started to make his way through the amateurs, he competed against guys who are some of boxing’s most discussed fighters. Edgar Berlanga, Teofimo Lopez, and Jaron Ennis were just a few of the names of the fighters he faced. With 114 amateur fights, Jamaine Ortiz decided to turn Pro and had his first fight on May 13th, 2016. That transition from amateur to Pro isn’t always easy, and Ortiz is the first to admit that he was struggling with it. But he continued to stay busy and work his way up.

Jamaine Ortiz capitalized on the opportunity of sharing a card with Mike Tyson.

While the country was trying to return to normalcy, boxing was putting on shows with no fans in attendance to keep their fighters busy. Insert CES Boxing president Jimmy Burchfield Sr., the promoter on record for the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones card, which took place on November 28th, 2020. Jamaine Ortiz is signed to CES Boxing, and Jimmy saw an opportunity for his young prospect to shine on an event that had the potential of being seen by fans across the world. Ortiz was placed on the card and fought Sulaiman Segawa (13-2-1) for the WBC USNBC Silver Lightweight title.

No one knew what to expect that night as it was the first time a fantasy matchup was booked as an actual event with active fighters on the undercard. With over a million PPV purchases worth of fans watching, Jamaine Ortiz put on a show and scored a seventh-round TKO victory. Outside Tyson and Jones, the second most talked about fight was between Ortiz and Segawa. What did that event do for the young fighter from Worcester? Ortiz told NYF, “I showed the world who Jamaine Ortiz is on a PPV card. Prior to that fight, I wasn’t on tv, so people couldn’t see what I could do and my skillset.” Jimmy Burchfield Sr.’s idea worked out for both the fighter and the promotion company as it immediately gave Ortiz the nationwide momentum he desired.

Top Rank had a prospect they were bringing up with that buzz behind his name, and given Ortiz’s recent performance, the matchmakers booked Jamaine Ortiz vs. Joseph Adorno (14-0-1) on April 24th, 2021. This fight was being shown on ESPN+, and it was pitting two young undefeated lightweight prospects against each other to see who was ready for the next step. Although Ortiz suffered two knockdowns, most felt that he still did enough to win the fight, but, in the end, the judges felt differently, making the result a draw.

The fight stole the show, and again, Ortiz was the second most talked about fighter that night. Did he have any regrets with the all-action brawl now in his rear-view mirror? Jamaine said, “I didn’t really fight my fight. I don’t want to say I regret anything because I don’t want to live with regrets. I did what I did and take accountability for it.” That’s a mature way of looking at it, and something fighters should take note of.

At this point, Ortiz has built a ton of momentum and was looking at potentially another step-up fight, but like most athletes, he fell victim to an injury. Although he chose not to disclose the nature of the injury, it took a “big chunk” of the year (2021), and when he was finally healthy, the opportunities for a fight just weren’t there.

Ortiz helped Lomachenko get ready for his fight against Richard Commey.

 

Since boxing wasn’t an option, Jamaine invested more time into real estate and some other things. Ortiz told NYF, “I do real estate, invest in properties and have a team that I work with to fix houses, make trades with the stock market and work with crypto. I balanced all three and spent the majority of the year being smart and investing my money.” Ortiz was doing pretty good during his time out of the ring.

Jamaine Ortiz is setting himself up for success as he knows boxing isn't forever.

Recently, CES Boxing was able to secure the main event slot for Jamaine Ortiz on ShoBox, which is another opportunity for him to shine on a major network. In preparation for his upcoming fight, Ortiz is still holding his camp in Worcester but travels around to get his sparring for the fight. What are his thoughts on his opponent? Jamaine said, “I know he is from Philly. I’ve watched a couple of rounds of his fights and know that he is a real slick fighter.”

Knowing Ortiz has a challenging task ahead of him, what should everyone expect from him who will be tuning in? Ortiz said, “They are going to see a great fight and one that you will not want to miss. All of my fights are entertaining.”  He isn’t lying about that part, and if you watched his last two fights, you would also agree with that statement.

Jamaine Ortiz seems to keep himself in great shape when he isn't in camp.

Not looking past his opponent, Ortiz would like to fight three to four times this year. Who does he have his eye on? Jamaine told NYF, “This year, I would like to fight Rolly (Rolando Romero) and then hopefully fight for a title by the end of the year.” Lofty expectations for the twenty-five-year-old, but these are the aggressive moves fighters need to take if they want to dare to be great. Ortiz ended the conversation by saying, “Everyone tune into showtime on February 18th as you’re not going to want to miss it!”

My Three Cents

Jamaine Ortiz has a fan-friendly boxing style, and he will make the most of this opportunity on Showtime as he has in the past. Can Jamaine Ortiz impress on the 18th and catapult himself into the lightweight division contender list? You will have to tune into Showtime to see if this young gunn is ready for the next step in his career.

You can follow me on Twitter @abeg718 and subscribe to The Boxing Rush Hour Show.

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York City, Abe grew up in a family who were and still are die-hard boxing fans. He started contributing boxing articles to NYF in 2017. Abe through his hard work, has made his way up the ranks and is now the editor at NYFights. He is also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).