Like his countryman Oleksandr Usyk, former pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko is anxious to get back into the ring as he returns from the frontline, having been actively defending his country Ukraine during the Russian conflict. Lomachenko is set to return in late October. Mike Coppinger has put out a tweet that says Loma and Jamaine Ortiz “have agreed terms” for the 135 pound fight.
Ortiz, unbeaten at 16-0-1(8) but taking one big step up in class in facing Lomachenko and his Matrix, is best known for his win over Jamel Herring, the May victory pushing Herring into retirement. The 26 year old from Worcester, Mass who is known as “The Technician” has also been in with Joseph Adorno who decked him a couple of times in their draw of a fight. This will be one big night for Ortiz.
It will be great to see Lomachenko, 16-2(11) back in the ring, even if he will not be going in with a big name or a proven elite fighter (again, this is Ortiz’ big chance to prove he really belongs at the highest level). Lomachenko looked almost back to his brilliant, dazzling best in his two fights of 2021, when he defeated Masayoshi Nakatini and Richard Commey – these wins following his upset decision loss to Teofimo Lopez in October of 2020.
Lomachenko should get the win over Ortiz, most likely via stoppage, and then he is widely expected to be the challenger for the winner of the return meeting between Devin Haney and George Kambosos Jr, which is set for October 15, once again in Australia.
Lomachenko is reported to have arrived in Los Angeles this week to begin his training camp for the Ortiz fight. Like Usyk, Lomachenko has the added motivation of fighting for his country, for his people. It will likely be a rough night for Jamain Ortiz on whatever night in October this fight takes place.
Can 34 year old Loma regain his lofty position as both unified lightweight king and the ruling pound-for-pound king?