The site has been solidified for what will be Vasiliy Lomachenko’s first fight in 10 months.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Lomachenko and Jamaine Ortiz will meet in a lightweight fight October 29 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York. The bout between Lomachenko and Ortiz will be the main event of a card ESPN+ will stream from the venue downstairs from the main arena where the Knicks and Rangers play their home games.
Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole first reported that Lomachenko and Ortiz would fight October 29. Lomachenko-Ortiz probably would’ve been scheduled for October 22, but the postponement of the Artur Beterbiev-Anthony Yarde card from October 29 until sometime early in 2023 opened up an ESPN+ date a week later for the Lomachenko-Ortiz show.
Ukraine’s Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) will fight for the first time since he unanimously out-pointed former IBF lightweight champ Richard Commey (30-4, 27 KOs) in a 12-round lightweight bout last December 11 at Madison Square Garden. The three-division champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist took a break from boxing in February to assist troops in his home country’s war with Russia.
If the 34-year-old Lomachenko overcomes Ortiz, he could face the winner of the upcoming rematch between undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney (28-0, 15 KOs) and former champ George Kambosos Jr. (20-1, 10 KOs) in his following fight.
The second Haney-Kambosos bout is scheduled for October 16 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. It will be broadcast by ESPN the night of October 15 in the United States.
Ortiz, meanwhile, will get the opportunity to pull off what would be a huge upset against one of the best boxers of this generation.
The unbeaten Worcester, Massachusetts native defeated former WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel Herring by unanimous decision in his last bout. The 26-year-old Ortiz (16-0-1, 8 KOs) beat Herring (23-4, 11 KOs) in that 10-rounder by scores of 97-93, 97-93 and 96-94 on May 21 at Resorts World Las Vegas.
The 36-year-old Herring, of Coram, New York, announced his retirement the next day.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.