Undefeated Jamaine Ortiz talks career so far ahead of return to action
Undefeated World Boxing Youth World lightweight champion Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz (12-0, 6 KOs) is, perhaps, the best prospect in the world who most boxing fans don’t know.
A large part of the problem, however, is that the 23-year-old Ortiz, born and raised in the fighting city of Worcester, MA, never aspired to be a professional boxer, despite having a decorated amateur career.
He started boxing when he was six years old, thanks to National Golden Gloves Hall of Fame trainer Carlos Garcia, who has run the boxing program at the Worcester Boys & Girls Club for nearly 40 years.
The naturally gifted Ortiz compiled an outstanding 100-14 amateur record, highlighted by a silver medal at the 2015 National Golden Gloves Tournament, in which he lost in the championship final to future professional world champion Joselito Lopez, plus back-to-back gold medal performances at the New England Tournament of Champions in 2015 & 2016.
Testimony to Ortiz’ promising potential was his final amateur match, which was a solid victory against Abraham “Super” Nova, who is 17-0 (13 KOs) as a professional, as well as the reigning North American Boxing Association champion, and rated by the World Boxing Association (WBA) as the No. 8 super featherweight in the world.
“Turning pro wasn’t my end goal,” consummate boxer Ortiz said. “It really wasn’t on my mind. I focused on regional and national tournaments. I always thought I’d win an Olympic gold medal and then turn pro. I wish I had been better prepared to turn pro.
“People that know me didn’t even realize that I had turned pro. It took a while before I adjusted, but I never really transitioned. Others had a game plan; I didn’t have a clue, but soon realized trophies I won in the amateurs weren’t going to pay the bills. Most of my fans today are other fighters and coaches.”
When his Olympic dream ended, after he lost in the semifinals of the Olympic Trials, that’s when his promoter, Jimmy Burchfield (Classic Entertainment and Sports / CES), and co-adviser, Providence businessman Richard Shappy got involved in Ortiz’ pro career. They’ve invested time, money and energy, believing in Ortiz and his tremendous potential.
“For years,” explained Shappy, who advises Ortiz along with Eddie Imondi,” I kept telling Jimmy (Burchfield) that I was interested in getting involved with a boxer, but that it had to be the right one. One day Jimmy called to say this (Ortiz) is the one. I jumped onboard. He convinced me that Jamaine is a future world champion. We jumped in from his first fight, on the ground floor, and we believe he is going to be world champion.”
Burchfield has promoted the likes of five-time world champion Vinny Paz, U.S. Olympian Jason Estrada, Ray Oliveira, Gary Balletto, Peter Manfredo, Jr. and many others during his 25-plus years in the boxing industry. “Jamaine is the best I’ve promoted since Vinny Paz,” Burchfield claimed without hesitation. “He’s one of the best prospects in the world today and someday he’ll be world champion. Some say he has the good looks of Oscar de la Hoya; others feel his style is like that of ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard.”
When his Olympic dream unceremoniously ended, he decided to turn pro in 2016, winning his pro debut when Josh Parker retired after one round. The highlight of his young pro career to date was winning an eight-round unanimous decision this past February from previously undefeated (10-0) Ricardo Quiroz to capture the vacant WBC Youth World lightweight title, the same belt once proudly worn by, ironically, the aforementioned Lopez, as well as Juan Diaz and Daniel Estrada.
Past CES-promoted fighters who were WBC World Youth champions include three-time world champion “Bad” Chad Dawson and Polish heavyweight Maruisz Wach.
In his last fight and first WBC World Youth title defense this past August, Ortiz won a dominating eight-round unanimous decision over 8-1-1 Romain Couture, pitching a shutout by winning each round on all three judges’ scorecards.
Ortiz’ time to star in the ring is coming. He is a diamond in the rough; young, talented and with tremendous upside. He has a strong team behind him, including head coach Rocky Gonzalez and Garcia, who is still working his corner
Ortiz’ fan-base will eventually develop and quickly grow as more and more boxing fans discover this gifted boxer as he ascends to the top of the boxing mountain.
2020 promises to be the “Year of The Technician,” Jamaine Ortiz.