The Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko beat Jamaine Ortiz for his comeback

The Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko beat Jamaine Ortiz for his comeback

“UK-RAI-NIA!” », “UK-RAI-NIA!” ». For his return to the ring after more than 10 months of absence, Vasyl Lomachenko was able to count on 4,500 noisy spectators almost entirely committed to his cause at the Hulu Theater, the “small” room of Madison Square Garden. The former WBA and WBO lightweight world champion (16 wins, 2 losses before this fight) entered the room in a military uniform, in reference to his recent enlistment in the Ukrainian army, where he had joined a battalion of territorial defense in Belgorod-Dnestrovsky (near Odessa) between February and August. “It will be difficult to think about anything other than my family and my country, but I hope to please my compatriots for an evening,” he confided before his return to competition.

Lomachenko spoke about his experience.

Gusto, he and Jamaine Ortiz gave it to all boxing fans with a bitter fight in 12 rounds that the Ukrainian won on points by unanimous decision of the three judges (115-113, 116-112, 117-111). “He is an excellent boxer with technique. He’s lucky to know me, but maybe not as well as I know him.” “Loma” declared the day before the weigh-in, talking about who has been his sparring partner in the past. “Loma looks old and dated”, summed up a colleague after the first two rounds in which the young Ortiz (26 years old, 16 wins, 1 draw, no losses before the match) constantly attacked his opponent, quickly marking him on the left cheekbone with a “power punch”.

“You know what motivates me, the four belts! »

Vasyl Lomachenko, after the fight

It was not until the fifth round that the Ukrainian veteran (34 years old), smaller than Ortiz (1.69 m against 1.73 m) slowly found his legs, and in turn cut his opponent’s left eye under the shouts of a hyperenthusiastic. crowd, waving light blue and yellow flags. Winner of former world champion Jamel Herring in May, Jamaine Ortiz in red shorts and bright shoes gave Lomachenko a hard time again in round 8, hitting him 18 times in 65 attempts, but the Ukrainian spoke about his experience being more lethal throughout the round. fight (22% of blows won against 20% of Ortiz).

“I am happy to be back in the ring and to have put on this great show. Thanks to my fans for the support.” Lomachenko commented soberly at the end of the fight, watched by his friend and compatriot Oleksandr Usyk, world heavyweight champion, who had traveled to New York to cheer him on, and joined him on stage to celebrate the victory and take some pictures. . “You know what motivates me, the four belts! », added “Loma”, who dreams of facing the American Devin Haney (23), current undisputed world champion of light weights (WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO).

Haney-Lomachenko in 2023?

The Ukrainian boxer first failed in his quest by losing in October 2020 to another American, Teofimo Lopez. He then stringed together two wins, before putting his career on hold to join Ukraine at the start of the conflict with Russia in February. “It wasn’t the best performance tonight (Saturday), but I know if Loma and I were to meet, we would see a much better fight.” Devin Haney reacted on the American channel ESPN +, announcer of the evening meeting.

“We will do everything in our power to make this fight that all boxing fans have been waiting for happen.” concluded promoter Bob Arum. See you a priori in the first quarter of 2023.

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