Vasiliy Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) pulled out a win tonight in ESPN’s main event, but it surely didn’t come easily against an unheralded opponent in Jamaine Ortiz (16-1-1, 8 KOs) who gave Lomachenko just about all he could handle over 12 full rounds of action. Ortiz came out quickly, looking to establish himself early against Lomachenko, who’s known to be a relatively slow starter.
That strategy worked in Ortiz’s favor in the early rounds as he was able to rack up a lead on my scorecard for BLH, but there was always the looming feeling that he might not have enough left in the tank for the back half of the fight.
As it turned out, that proved to play a role as Ortiz clearly would begin to fade and once Lomachenko noticed that he turned up the heat and started scoring more and more often. Ortiz, to his credit, would fight back valiantly, but in the end I saw him come up just short with a 115-113 card in favor of Lomachenko for BLH. The official judges, however, turned in wider scores of 115-113, 116-112, and 117-111 — the latter of which seems to stretch the reality of the situation.
In the end, however, Lomachenko took care of business and sets himself up for an undisputed lightweight fight against Devin Haney, who just so happened to be on hand for the fight and appeared in the ring during the post-fight interview. Haney didn’t rate Lomachenko’s win tonight very highly, but said he’s sure Lomachenko will turn in a better performance when they meet.
To that Lomachenko took a look at Haney and quipped ‘lightweight?’ as Haney clearly looked like the bigger man between the two when standing next to one another. And considering the success Ortiz was able to put together tonight against Lomachenko, it stands to reason that Haney will present him with serious, serious problems.
Robeisy Ramirez TKO-9 Matias Romero
In the opener of ESPN’s main card, Robeisy Romero (11-1, 7 KOs) took care of business by stopping Matias Romero (26-3, 9 KOs) in nine rounds of action. Ramirez was clearly a class above Romero, and steadily beat him down with a series of left hands from round to round until he really had Romero in a vulnerable state.
Ramirez started the fight quickly, dialing up his favored power hand to drop Romero in the opening round. From there, despite Ramirez continuing to dominate on the cards, the fight would fall into lulls as Ramirez seemed fairly content to play with his food rather than press the issue.
However in the ninth round Ramirez shook Romero up with a left hand and by that time Ramirez had clearly had enough, and finally stepped on the gas to land a few power shots and overwhelemed Romero along the ropes, forcing the referee to stop the fight at the 2:20 minute mark.