Vasyl Lomachenko returns after nearly a year out with a rust-shaking fight against Jamaine Ortiz. There’s no belts on the line, and he’s had more proven opponents, but entertainment is always on the cards with the Ukranian great.
Lomachenko (16-2-0, 11 KOs) is of course one of the most recognisable fighters in modern boxing, his flowing, almost-dancing footwork and high volume making him a must-watch. Ortiz (16-0-1, 8KOs) has nowhere near the level of experience or exposure, but he’ll be looking to grab this chance with both hands- a good showing even in a loss would bounce his career to another level, and he’s got some tricks that Lomachenko will have to work around.
This post will provide live play-by-play of the main event. The card starts at 6:15 p.m. ET exclusively on ESPN+, with the main card starting at 8 p.m. ET and the main event expected some time after 10 p.m. ET, but keep an eye out here to make sure you don’t miss it.
Vasyl Lomachenko vs Jamaine Ortiz
Round by Round:
Round 1: The round opens with them exchanging jabs while circling in center ring. Ortiz is seeking to bounce in with his jab to force Lomachenko back, has some success with the position but not many land. Loma starts to push him back but Ortiz counters with a combination. Loma’s starting to look for the angles already though. Ortiz isn’t letting anything go unanswered and ends the round with a couple solid bodyshots. Feel-out round, 10-9 Ortiz
Round 2: Ortiz comes out pushing, doesn’t want to give Lomachenko space to think. Loma has the same idea. He’s trying to slip to the outside of Ortiz’s jab safe from the power hand, Ortiz is adjusting well so far, meeting it with little hooks and sweeping leads. Not as much switch-hitting from Ortiz as we sometimes see, which is sensible. They exchange to end the round with Loma on the back foot again. 10-9 Ortiz, 20-18
Round 3: Ortiz is using his lead hand very well to prevent Lomachenko coming around that side. Lomachenko’s constantly trying different approaches though, which will be tiring. As the round ends he starts to get home. Right hand upstairs lands, Ortiz wobbles and ties up! Ortiz responds by trying to land his own work, but 10-9 Loma, 29-28
Round 4: Ortiz’s plan is definitely to get there first and keep Loma moving backwards, but he needs to be careful not to do Loma’s work for him in closing range. A quieter start to the round after the flurries at the end of the last. They clinch up in the middle as Ortiz digs the body. Loma’s straight left is starting to land a bit more regularly down the middle, and another one has Ortiz looking tentative. Ortiz is looking to tie up a bit now, though happy to work out of the clinch. Ortiz finishes the round with a big flurry. Really good fight. 10-9 Loma, 38-38
Round 5: Loma’s circular movement in close isn’t quite working here yet, but he adjusts by finding straighter routes down the middle where Ortiz isn’t quite as prepared. It leaves him vulnerable to the jab but Ortiz isn’t following it up with much right now. He does find a flurry in reply though, and Loma ends the round mostly jabbing and moving before closing the show with an exchange. Loma 10-9, 48-47
Round 6: Loma opens the round with a straight left to the body that Ortiz definitely felt. He’s backing off now, his volume has definitely dropped. Another left to the body. Ortiz’s left eye is starting to close, feeling Loma’s southpaw jab. Another one snaps Ortiz’s head back as Lomachenko steps in. He seems to have worked out the timing on Ortiz’s jab too, now, countering over the top and following it in. Ortiz has started to go into hold on mode, but he finally switches stance and finishes the round with a little bit of action. 10-9 Loma, 58-56
Round 7: Ortiz sticks with the southpaw stance at the start of round 7, Lomachenko has slowed down the pace to figure it out. It’s giving Ortiz a route to land his own lead right. Showing tremendous handspeed and lands a flurry that backs Lomachenko up. He goes back orthodox and Lomachenko immediately lands a combination, and follows up wth a straight right over the jab. This round is much closer, Loma doesn’t look super-comfortable with the return fire, might be feeling the bodyshots a bit. 10-9 Ortiz, 67-66 Loma
Round 8: Ortiz back to orthodox, which seems to be the worse position for him right now, but hey, it keeps Loma thinking. Ortiz lands with a quick right but Loma answers directly with a combination. They get in close and Ortiz lands a couple of good uppercuts, then another to the body. Ortiz’s handspeed is superb here. He’s using his size and strength to bully Loma a little when they clinch, too. Lomachenko struggling to find routes to get close safely again. Still landing plenty of his own, but Ortiz is letting nothing go unanswered. Now he’s switching back and forth, but so far that’s working. Good round for him. 10-9 Ortiz, 76-76
Round 9: Ortiz has been superb tonight. Loma opens the round pushing, but he’s getting nothing for free. Now he lands a big uppercut then snaps Ortiz’ head back with a 1-2. Ortiz responds with a lead right uppercut that scores. Loma’s now trying to catch Ortiz coming in with these big moves, which is working, but he’s also shipping shots while he invites them. Ortiz finishes the round strong, but Loma landed the greatest damage early on, so 10-9 Loma, 86-85
Round 10: Ortiz is starting to make the errors now, leaning into a few shots and having to back off. Ortiz lands a couple, but Lomachenko finally starts to get his close-range circling going. Walks Ortiz onto another left, and then another to the body. Loma starting to warm to his task here, combinations to body and head. Both men feeling the pace a bit and the pace slows as the round closes. 10-9 Loma, 96-94.
Round 11: Ortiz into the 11th for the first time in his career. Loma has been here many times. Ortiz back to holding Orthodox a bit more, and he’s definitely trying to take the pace out of the contest now. A big combination to the head catches Ortiz off balance! He felt that, holds on and takes some to the body. Recovers quickly though and throws a combination of his own. The round gets a bit messy through the middle third. Loma finishes the round with a couple more crisp 1-2s. 10-9 Loma, 106-103
Round 12: Ortiz opens well, holds center ring and catches Loma trying to circle with his right. Loma goes the other way and catches him out. He struggled early and this still isn’t easy, but the close-quarters footwork is there fore him now, and Ortiz is finding it increasingly difficult to keep up. Backs Loma off with a jab but Loma counters over the top of it. After a couple more exchanges he backs off for a bit, but then decides to close the round by doing some physical stuff of his own bumping Ortiz off balance and landing a combo. They finish messily, shoving and nearly falling. 10-9 Loma, 116-112
BE scores it 116-112
Official scores: 115-113, 116-112, 117-111 Lomachenko
Lightweight: Vasyl Lomachenko UD12 Jamaine Ortiz 115-113, 116-112, 117-111
Featherweight: Robeisy Ramirez TKO-9 Jose Matias Romero
Heavyweight: Richard Torrez TKO-3 Ahmed Hefny
Featherweight: Duke Ragan UD Luis Lebron 77-75, 78-74, 79-73
Middleweight: Nico Ali Walsh UD6 Billy Wagner 58-56, 58-56, 59-55
Welterweight: Delante Johnson UD6 Esteban Garcia 60-54, 60-54, 60-54
Middleweight: Troy Isley UD8 Quincy LaVallais 79-73, 80-72, 80-72
Lightweight: Abdullah Mason TKO-4 Angel Barrera
Super-featherweight: Haven Brady Jr UD8 Eric Mondragon: 78-74, 79-73, 79-73