Vasiliy Lomachenko, who has been in his home country since the start of the ongoing Russian invasion, has announced that he will return to boxing on October 29.
‘The Matrix’, who has held world titles in three divisions, will face unbeaten Jamaine Ortiz at New York’s Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
After losing his lightweight belts to Teofimo Lopez, Lomachenko racked up two wins in 2021 against Masayoshi Nakatani and Richard Commey.
He has been out of action since December of that year – a picture in full camouflage gear with an assault rifle confirming his efforts to support Ukraine during Russia’s brutal invasion.
Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum, hailed the return of the highly-skilled fighter.
“Vasiliy Lomachenko is a credit to his country and the sport of boxing.”
“When his country needed him, Vasiliy did not hesitate. We are thrilled that he is safe and fighting once again at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, his home away from home. Jamaine Ortiz is a young, hungry, undefeated fighter who understands that a victory over a living legend like Loma would be life changing.”
Because of the situation in Ukraine, the former unified lightweight champion turned down an opportunity to challenge George Kambosos Jr for undisputed in the division. The shot went to Devin Haney, who came out victorious.
Haney will rematch Kambosos two weeks before Lomachenko enters the ring and this, the Ukrainian says, is still where his interests ultimately lie.
“I want to dedicate this fight to all my Ukrainian people. I wear the flag proudly every time I step in the ring.”
“I love my sport, and I am so glad to be back. My goal is to win the undisputed lightweight title, but I will not take Jamaine Ortiz lightly. Madison Square Garden and Hulu Theater at MSG have been special places in my career, and I look forward to making more great memories on October 29.”
He’s smart not to take Ortiz lightly. The man who beat Jamel Herring on his last outing has title aspirations of his own. His confidence is clear.
“I’m excited about this fight. Vasiliy Lomachenko is a great fighter, but I’m here to win. Once I win this fight, I’m targeting a world title opportunity. This is a dream come true.”
It all goes down on October 29 courtesy of Top Rank, with full card details expected to be announced soon.