Saturday night inside the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York sees the 2022 return of the sublime Vasiliy Lomachenko. The Ukrainian goes up against old sparring partner Jamaine Ortiz over a scheduled twelve rounds at lightweight.
ESPN televise Lomachenko vs Ortiz in the USA, and Sky Sports have the UK rights. Top Rank promote.
Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) has had his eyes on the ongoing war in his home country, as well as trying to get back to the summit of the lightweight division, and he will look to get a win here, before turning his attention to undisputed champion, Devin Haney.
The three-weight world champion lost lightweight titles in October 2020, in a surprise points defeat to Teofimo Lopez, and the 34-year-old has waited in line ever since, watching the belts change hands firstly to George Kambosos Jr, and then Haney.
‘Loma’, who turned down the chance to face Kambosos Jr due to remain in Ukraine, has been out of the ring since, last December when he dropped Richard Commey on the way to a wide points win.
Ortiz (16-0-1, 8 KOs) will need to produce something monumental to defeat Lomachenko, although the man from Worcester, Massachusetts is coming off a career best win.
‘The Technician’ was held to a majority draw by Joseph Adorno in April 2021, and after taking a ten round decision win, he was selected as Jamel Herring’s comeback opponent in May, after ‘Semper Fi’ lost his world title to Shakur Stevenson in October last year.
The 26-year-old took a clear win over ten rounds on the cards, and secured the NABF and IBF USBA belts in the process.
Prediction: Lomachenko will want to put on a show here, and he will likely take a few rounds to get into top gear, before eventually forcing a stoppage or retirement in the later rounds.
Ramirez faces Romero
Double Olympic Champion, Robeisy Ramirez features as chief support, and the Cuban appears in a ten rounder at featherweight against Jose Matias Romero (26-2, 9 KOs).
Ramirez (10-1, 6 KOs) has stepped up in class of late, and is coming off two straight early wins, the last a fifth round knockout of Abraham Nova in June.
Argentina’s Romero lost a pair of decisions in the USA in 2021, including to Isaac Cruz, but returned to his homeland for two wins this year, the last a split decision against Nicolas Emiliano Paz in June.
Prediction: Ramirez can impress with an early win here.
In eight round action, 2020 Olympic silver medalist, Duke Ragan (7-0, 1 KO) should continue his education with a points win against Luis Lebron (18-4-1, 11 KOs) at featherweight, and at super welterweight, Troy Isley (7-0, 4 KOs) can outscore Quincy LaVallais (14-3-1, 9 KOs).
At super featherweight, Haven Brady Jr (7-0, 4 KOs) can win early against Eric Mondragon (7-0-1, 4 KOs).
In six rounders, Nico Ali Walsh (6-0, 5 KOs) has his seventh pro fight, and the middleweight should halt the overmatched Billy Wagner (5-2, 1 KO) inside schedule.
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Welterweight hope Delante Johnson (5-0, 4 KOs) can outscore Esteban Garcia (15-1, 7 KOs), and heavyweight prospect Richard Torrez Jr (3-0, 3 KOs), who claimed a silver medal at the 2020 Olympics can extend his knockout streak against Ahmed Hefny (13-2, 5 KOs).
Abdullah Mason (4-0, 3 KOs) can take the battle of the unbeatens at lightweight against Angel Barrera (4-0).