The fans win as undefeated prospects Jamaine Ortiz and Joseph Adorno put it all on the line
On the undercard of Navarette versus Diaz, the fans were gifted a rare treat. This came in the form of lightweights Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno (14-0-2, 12 KO’s) versus Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz (14-0-2, 8 KO’s). This bout was an oddity because we do not often see two richly talented prospects taking one another on so early in their developing careers. Yet, that was exactly what took place here.
Each fighter in their own right was an impressive amateur standout whose professional potential is off the charts. Ortiz ended his amateur tenure with a record of (100-14) and was the WBC Youth World Lightweight champion among many other sterling accolades. The Technician went into this thrilling bout with Adorno still riding high off his seventh round knockout of Sulaiman Segawa. He claimed that stoppage on the undercard of the high profile Mike Tyson versus Roy Jones Jr extravaganza.
While no less talented, Adorno did enter the bout coming off a much longer layoff than Ortiz as he has had n’ot fought in fifteen months. Yet, like the Technician, Adorno had amassed an impressive 178-22, 65 KO’s amateur record for himself. During that time, he was the 2016 Golden Gloves Champion and 2015 Jr Olympic and Prep National champion. Blessed Hands is promoted by Top Rank and is co-managed and co-trained by his father, Anibal Adorno and famed boxing trainer Robert Garcia.
The bout opened with The Technician taking the lead and pressing the action behind some outrageously fast hands. He clearly was throwing and landing more, while the much more economic Adorno connected with the far harder shots. Right out the gate in the second, Adorno hurt Ortiz with a crunching left hook and moments later bloodied his nose. In the final minute of the round, a grazing right hook to the side of the head sent Ortiz to the canvas. He rose without issue and finished the period without further mishap.
Ortiz enjoyed a good bounce back round in the third even though much of his offense was more flash than hurtful substance. The fourth saw fun back-and-forth action but about half way through, Ortiz landed his most meaningful power shots of the night. In particular, a crisp left hook got the attention of Adorno. Yet, by this point, The Technician was a bloody mess as his nose had been leaking non-stop since the second.
Ortiz slowed his output but probably enjoyed his best offensive round of the night in the fifth. Here, he scored several times with a guard-splitting double upper and a handful of thumping left hooks to the head. Adorno was not wilting under the pressure and managed to back him up with his own crunching counter shots. Ortiz was visibly bothered by his faucet of a nose and stepped back on a few occasion just to blow and spit blood out.
The sixth was a pretty uneventful round. In the seventh, Adorno was moving around listlessly and appeared to be conceding the fight. Then, out of nowhere, he nailed Ortiz with a left uppercut that froze him and left him pent in the ropes like a fly on sticky paper. While he never went down, he was given an appropriate eight count as the ropes were the only thing that kept him up. Despite being badly hurt, The Technician bravely fought back with near reckless abandon to the bell. In the final round, Ortiz once again threw caution into the wind and took the fight to Adorno. Neither fighter significantly hurt the other but it was obvious that Ortiz threw more shots, consistently pressed him to the ropes and connected with the harder punches.
When the cards were read, the bout was ruled a majority draw. For what it was worth, two judges ruled it a draw while only one judge had Ortiz winning the fight. Personally, this scribe believes, like the one judge, that The Technician did enough to win even with the two knockdowns. Regardless of the somewhat deflating outcome, this was a wildly fun fight to watch. It will be interesting to see what they do next. Even though they probably won’t, no one would be mad to see these two lock horns one more time!
By: Bakari Simpson