Former unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko arrived in the U.S. on Tuesday, escaping the war with Russia in his native Ukraine. On Wednesday, he landed a fight.
Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti confirmed to Yahoo Sports that Lomachenko will return against Jamaine Ortiz on Oct. 22. Moretti said the location is likely to be Las Vegas, but the site wasn’t finalized. He said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum wants to look at other options before making a decision.
ESPN first reported the Lomachenko-Ortiz match.
Ortiz is 16-0-1 with eight knockouts and is coming off his most notable victory, a 10-round decision over ex-lightweight champion Jamel Herring on May 21 at Resorts World in Las Vegas.
When Lomachenko let Top Rank know a month or so that he wanted to fight this year, the company’s matchmakers came up with a list of potential opponents, which included Ortiz. They sent those to Egis Klimas, Lomachenko’s manager, and he reviewed them with Anatoly Lomachenko, the fighter’s father and trainer. Anatoly opted for Ortiz.
The goal is for Loma to hopefully get a bout for the undisputed lightweight title with champion Devin Haney. However, Haney first has to rematch George Kambosos Jr. in Australia.
Loma hasn’t fought since a one-sided Dec. 11 unanimous decision victory over Richard Commey at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Moretti said that 2016 Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez would fight Jesse Magdaleno. He said it is yet to be determined when and where that fight will be held. It is a possibility, Moretti said, to be on the undercard of Lomachenko-Ortiz.
The location for Ramirez-Magdaleno will be determined by where the Lomachenko-Ortiz fight winds up.