Lomachenko’s victory leads to Devin Haney showdown
Two-time Olympic gold medalist and former three-division champion Vasyl Lomachenko took the ring for the first time in 10 months where he faced the heavy underdog, Jamaine Ortiz. The fight was a lot closer than many thought it would be as Ortiz pushed Lomachenko to his limit. Ortiz was able to use his speed and athleticism and quick jab as he took control over the first half of the 135-pound bout. Lomachenko rallied down the stretch and did enough for the judges to edge him the match. The judges scored it 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111.
A lot of pundits felt there was no way Lomachenko would lose this fight. Regardless of how Oritz looked, especially with the Devin Haney fight on the horizon. Haney, the current undisputed world champ, was in attendance and very critical of his next opponent. "I think it wasn't the best performance," said Haney, who entered the ring afterward for an interview alongside Lomachenko. "I hope we can get it on."
"The fight to make in the lightweight division is Haney vs. Lomachenko, and we will do everything we can to make the undisputed championship showdown that all fight fans want to see," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. "They are the world's premier lightweights, and it would be a fantastic battle."
However, for this fight to live up to expectations Lomachenko will have to be better than he has been. Ortiz, a little-known 26-year-old from Worcester, Mass., who scored a decision victory over Jamel Herring in May set a pace in this fight that confused Lomachenko. Ortiz was able to double and sometimes triple up on his jab. Lomachenko was also unable to find angles to land his own shots. The potential Haney fight seems to just be about what Lomachenko used to be and not what he currently is. As it stands right now Haney may be the best in the sport.
Lomachenko admitted he must be more active if he's going to be at his best. The fight was his first since a decision win over Richard Commey in December 2021. Lomachenko was originally scheduled to face former champion George Kamboses. However, after his country Ukraine was invaded in February, he turned down the fight making a way for Haney to become the champion. Now the two will be facing each other in early 2023.