Teofimo “The Takeover” Lopez (19-1) returns to action on February 8th against Jamaine Ortiz (17-1-1) in the first defense of his WBO super lightweight title. He won the title in June with an upset victory over the then unbeaten Josh Taylor in Lopez’s first fight at 140 pounds. 

The fight will be aired on ESPN as a Thursday night special attraction during Super Bowl week before the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs on February 11th. 

Like many boxing observers, super lightweight contender Michel Rivera (25-1) is very interested in the outcome of the fight. 

Lopez, who was a unified champion at 135 pounds and holds a victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko, is listed as a 7-1 favorite by BetMGM. While the odds are against him, Rivera believes that Ortiz has what it takes to pull off the upset. 

"Ortiz is my boy but I truly believe that he will win this fight in a comfortable manner. This is a very attractive fight,” Rivera told BoxingScene.com. 

“Don’t get me wrong, Teo isn’t an easy fight for anyone and he is very talented but Ortiz has what it takes to win the fight and I am rolling with him.”

Rivera was last in action in November when he outpointed former champion Sergey Lipinets. He said that an update on his next fight date will be announced in the near future. 

Send questions or comments to ringsidewriter@gmail.com. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter