Vasiliy Lomachenko, a three-weight world champion and former pound for pound top dog, returns to the ring on Oct. 29, at Madison Square Garden's Hulu Theater. The 34 year old Ukrainian in-ring chess master, who holds a 16-2 record, is slated to meet Jamaine Ortiz,
Lomachenko-Ortiz, as well as a support contest pitting two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez versus Jessie Magdaleno, will screen on ESPN+, the streaming platform.
U.S. Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. seeks to go to 4-0 on this evening, as well.
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $56 go on sale Thursday, September 15 at 12 p.m. ET and will be available to purchase at Ticketmaster.com.
Vasiliy Lomachenko, you might recall, was fixing to fight then-unified lightweight champ George Kambosos Jr. on June 5, but then Russia invaded Ukraine, so in March, Loma announced he'd stay put in Ukraine, in support of his nation, rather than go through with the assignment which went to Devin Haney.
“Vasiliy Lomachenko is a credit to his country and the sport of boxing,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum in a Top Rank release. “When his country needed him, Vasiliy did not hesitate. We are thrilled that he is safe and fighting once again at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, his home away from home. Jamaine Ortiz is a young, hungry, undefeated fighter who understands that a victory over a living legend like Loma would be life-changing.”
One might presume that the 26 year old Ortiz will be facing someone unlike anyone he's faced, with a 396-1 amateur record, someone who won a world title in his third pro fight, and became a three-weight world champion in his 12th outing. In his last outing, Massachusetts native Ortiz (16-0-1, with 8 KOs), though, scored a career-best win, decisioning ex titlist Jamel Herring on May 21. One might assume his confidence level will be high, but yes, his chances will be helped if Vasiliy Lomachenko looks his age come fight night. Loma didn't look diminished in handling Masayoshi Nakatani, his foe in the fight prior to the Commey test. Ortiz seems like a ‘good head on his shoulders' type when he spoke to Mark Kriegel after beating Herring, as he chose to note that he still has work to do to master his craft, rather than whooping and hollering about beating the name vet.
Vasiliy Lomachenko is training in California now, and yes, he's got one eye on Haney, who holds all the lightweight crowns after he master-classed Kambosos on June 5. (You might be surprised to know that Haney and Kambosos are running it back, on October 16, in the least-called-for-rematch of all time.)
Vasiliy Lomachenko in the release said, “I love my sport, and I am so glad to be back. My goal is to win the undisputed lightweight title, but I will not take Jamaine Ortiz lightly. Madison Square Garden and Hulu Theater at MSG have been special places in my career, and I look forward to making more great memories on October 29. I want to dedicate this fight to all my Ukrainian people. I wear the flag proudly every time I step in the ring.”
Ortiz has been a pro for six years, and is promoted quite capably by Rhode Island deal-maker, the boxing lifer Jimmy Burchfield Sr.
NOTES: Tiger Johnson (5-0, 4 KOs) will take part in a six-round junior welterweight bout, featherweight silver medalist Duke Ragan (7-0, 1 KO) steps up to his first eight-rounder, and Troy Isley (7-0, 4 KOs) tries junior middleweight. Those three were Tokyo Games Olympians with Torrez, for the record.
Lightweight Abdullah Mason (4-0, 3 KOs) and junior lightweight Haven Brady Jr. (7-0, 4 KOs) are also penciled in to see action in NYC, underneath the appearance by Vasiliy Lomachenko.