Jamaine Ortiz Outworks Jamel Herring in his Return at Lightweight!
At the Resorts World Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (23-4, 11 KOs) took on Jamaine Ortiz (16-0-1, 8 KOs) in a ten-round lightweight contest. In many aspects, change was the underlying theme in the lead-up. A very popular fighter among hardcore fans, the fighting marine was in bounce-back mode.
A former 2012 Olympian, Herring began his career as a lightweight. But in 2018, he made the decision to drop down in weight and campaign at 130 pounds. The move paid off in a big way as in May 2019, he defeated Masayuki Ito to win the WBO junior lightweight title. He defended that title three times before losing the belt in his last fight, suffering a tenth-round TKO defeat to Shakur Stevenson in 2021. In the aftermath of that setback, Herring has not only made the decision to go back up to 135 pounds, but the now 36-year-old is also under the guidance of a new trainer, Manny Robles.
He returned to face Ortiz who looked at Herring as an opportunity of a lifetime. The 26-year-old from Worcester, Massachusetts understands that his adversary is the more experienced fighter. But coming off an impressive decision win over Nahir Albright in February 2022, Ortiz came to win and take his career to the next level.
A DECENT OPENING
It all looked good early on for Herring. The veteran southpaw was able to get off early with the jab and landed flush with a hard left hand in the opening round. In the third, he began to work the breadbasket of Ortiz.
STARTING TO FADE
But the momentum changed in the fourth after Ortiz buzzed Herring with a left hook. Then starting in the middle rounds, things went from bad to worse. It was at this point that the fight began to dissipate from Herring. His punch output drastically decreased.
Switching from orthodox to southpaw, Ortiz’s confidence began to pick it up, and he became more assertive. He was first and last during exchanges, and his advantage in hand-speed started to show.
From the seventh round on, Ortiz swarmed and dominated the action. Herring fought with a warrior’s spirit but could do nothing to combat the onslaught of the younger and fresher opponent. He had the body language of a shopworn fighter.
In the end, the youth and vigor of Ortiz was the clear difference as the judges scored the fight in his favor by unanimous decision (96-94, 97-93, 97-93). It was the signature performance and win he was searching for. He is now a player in the 135-140 pound landscape. Sometimes, a fighter gets old in one fight. That seemed to be the case for Herring, who looked like a shell of himself.
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By: Michael Wilson Jr.