If I am Beterbiev, Loma, Jared Anderson or Janibek and Top Rank offers me a headlining bout on a Thursday in Vegas; the answer is emphatically, No! For the second time in about three months, the Vegas based promotion has hosted a fight in conjunction with a big time sporting event in Sin City. Each time, the co-main and the main have been memorable. Unfortunately the main events will be remembered for how poorly the fighters performed.
Shakur Stevenson vs. Edwin de Los Santos set a record for the lowest offensive output in Compubox history. Shakur moved all fight causing Edwin to miss and he landed just enough to ensure he was victorious. On Thursday, February 8th, we saw a very similar bout between Teofimo Lopez and Jamaine Ortiz. Unlike Shakur, Jamaine was not offensive enough to earn the victory.
Most thought it was a close fight. Referee Steve Weisfeld is not most people, scoring it 117-111 in favor of Lopez. Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz was tactical and his plan would have worked, had he thrown more punches in the second half of the fight. He was far too comfortable with countering sporadically, costing him the title. He lost more than the bout, as many will not be eager to see him compete again.
The most entertaining part of the Main Event was Teofimo’s walk out. His theme was “The Showman.” The audience was captivated by jugglers, a sword swallower and other circus performers. In the ring, Lopez was like a motorcycle in a sphere, going in circles. Unlike at the circus, the Champion never left the ground floor.
I applaud Top Rank for making these daring fight cards. Unfortunately for fight fans, the finished product has not lived up to expectations. The human element is why we love sports. Sometimes it’s the frailty of mortals that lets viewers down. Thursday Night Fights for Top Rank have not delivered. If they try it again, the third time may be the charm or three strikes and they’re out.