NEW YORK (Oct. 29, 2022) — With a potential undisputed lightweight title showdown on the line, former three-weight world champion Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko had to dig deep.
While it wasn’t the dominant performance many expected, Lomachenko rallied in the late rounds to edge Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz (16-1-1, 8 KOs) by unanimous decision (115-113, 116-112 and 117-111) Saturday evening at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Ortiz came out firing his jab in the opening round, as Lomachenko sustained some bruising under his right eye. Lomachenko stunned Ortiz momentarily in the third round, but the underdog hung tough and was even on two scorecards and ahead by two points on the other at the fight’s halfway mark. Two of the judges had Lomachenko sweeping the final six rounds in a tale of two fights. Lomachenko outlanded Ortiz, 125-122.
Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) will now look towards a potential super fight with undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney, who was seated ringside to scout his potential foe.
“I’m happy. I’m happy to come back in the ring and make this a great show,” Lomachenko said. “Thank you to my fans for the support. You know what motivated me. Four belts!
“Look, I’m ready. I’m ready for any option.”
Midway through Lomachenko’s post-fight interview, he was joined in the ring by Haney, who also welcomed the challenge.
Haney said, “I think it wasn’t the best performance, but I know if me and Loma were to fight, we’d see a better version on the night. Congratulations, and hopefully we can get it on.”
Added Top Rank chairman Bob Arum: “The fight to make in the lightweight division is Haney versus Lomachenko, and we will do everything we can to make the undisputed championship showdown that all fight fans want to see. They are the world’s premier lightweights, and it would be a fantastic battle.”