According to various rumors, one of boxing’s best, Vasiliy Lomachenko, will return to the ring in October to face Jamaine Ortiz. The announcement comes after Lomachenko returned to the US from his native Ukraine, where he had taken up arms in support of the country’s invasion by Russia.
According to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, the bout is set to take place on October 29 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KO) has been out of action due to the war since December, when he dominated Richard Commey. Lomachenko’s performance against Commey was his second impressive performance since losing several lightweight crowns to Teofimo Lopez in October 2020.
With victories over Commey and Masayoshi Nakatani, Lomachenko was poised to face then-undisputed champion George Kambosos Jr. in Australia for all four world titles at 135 pounds. Then Russia invaded Ukraine, putting an end to the Kambosos vs. Lomachenko plans and allowing Devin Haney to defeat Kambosos and become the undisputed champion.
Haney is contractually bound to a rematch with the Kambosos, as the initial match’s stipulations included a rematch provision, also in Australia. With that in mind, Lomachenko needed an opponent to keep his tools sharp and deter him from sitting on the sidelines for more than a year while Haney and Kambosos worked out their differences.
Ortiz’s most recent bout was also his biggest win, when he outboxed Jamel Herring in May. The defeat forced Herring to quit and allowed Ortiz to build on an amazing win over Nahir Albright in February. Those two victories followed the lone blemish on Ortiz’s record, an April 2021 majority draw against Joseph Adorno in a fight in which Ortiz was the better boxer but sustained two knockdowns.