Earlier we mentioned that Vasiliy Lomachenko is back in the United States as he’s getting ready to return to the ring in October, and named a few potential opponents for him. One of those guys is now all but official, as Mike Coppinger reports that Lomachenko and Jamaine Ortiz have agreed to terms on a late October bout.
“Late October” would mean either Oct. 22 or Oct. 29, most likely, the last two Saturdays of the month. This would put the winner — which will be expected to be Lomachenko — in line to potentially fight undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney next year. Haney will face George Kambosos Jr in a mandatory rematch on Oct. 15 (U.S. time) in Australia.
The 34-year-old Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KO) last fought in December, with his boxing year disrupted by the war in Ukraine. But like friend and former Olympic teammate Oleksandr Usyk, who faces Anthony Joshua this Saturday in Saudi Arabia, Lomachenko has been encouraged to get back to his career, and is doing so.
Ortiz (16-0-1, 8 KO) is a 26-year-old fighter from Massachusetts coming off of a career-best and biggest win over Jamel Herring on May 21, which sent former 130 lb titleholder Herring into retirement. He beat Nahir Albright in February, too, a pair of strong wins this year that followed an eight-round draw with Joseph Adorno in 2021, a fight where Ortiz boxed well at times but was dropped twice and had to settle for the majority even scores.
This is a massive step up for Ortiz even compared to the Herring fight, but it’s a huge opportunity for him, too. He’s not a blue chip prospect type of anything, and the feeling at Top Rank is he’s probably as ready as he’s going to get for this sort of fight, which is the nice way of putting they obviously don’t have any problems with risking his undefeated record, which is a nice way of saying other things.
Coppinger also reports that Robeisy Ramirez (10-1, 6 KO) will face Jessie Magdaleno (29-1, 18 KO) in the co-feature, which is a very nice matchup, and all in all I don’t think you can argue with this as the top two of an ESPN show in a couple months. Good to have Loma back, big shot for Ortiz, fantastic co-feature matchup.