The former unified lightweight world champion gets stern test but delivers another victory.
Jamain Ortiz gave Vasiliy Lomachenko a serious challenge Saturday night.
However, the savvy former unified world lightweight ruler relied on his experience to dominate his younger challenger over the championship rounds en route to a unanimous decision victory. Judges inside Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City scored it 115-113, 116-112, and 117-111, all in favor of Lomachenko, who was too strong for a spirited Ortiz down the stretch.
"I think it wasn't the best performance, but I know that if me and Loma were to fight, a better version would be on (display) that night," Haney told ESPN, joining Lomachenko in the ring following the bout. "Hopefully, we could get it on."
Lomachenko responded: "I'll be ready."
In his first bout since December, Lomachenko came out Saturday night a step behind Ortiz, who banked early rounds by bringing the fight to his older opponent. Ortiz did that behind the jab and with a higher punch volume.
But toward the middle of the fight, Lomachenko had downloaded enough intel to begin picking and choosing his spots to score on quick combinations. Although Ortiz hung tough, even switching stances on Lomachenko, the Ukrainian fighter was too much for the game Ortiz over the final few rounds as he changed levels and connected on enough stinging shots to sway the decision in his favor.
Here's how the entire Lomachenko-Ortiz main card went.
They touch gloves, and Ortiz comes out trying to assert the jab. He scores on a right hand that lands flush. Lomachenko sticks a left hand in that connects. Ortiz digs a right into Loma's body. Lomachenko ducks out of harm's way and springs up to tag Ortiz with a right seconds later. Under a minute left, with Lomachenko being the more accurate fighter this round. He fires off a combination that lands. Under 30 seconds. Ten seconds. There's the final bell! Let's see how judges score it. (10-9 Lomachenko, 116-112 Lomachenko)
Left-right combination ends with Lomachenko coming down hard onto Ortiz's temple. They're in the clinch and again. Lomachenko with a left to the body and a right across the jaw. These are the deep waters Lomachenko thrives in. A stinging jab from Lomachenko finds its mark. Left-right combination connects for Lomachenko out of the clinch. (10-9 Lomachenko, 106-103 Lomachenko)
Lomachenko crouches down, springs up, and lands a left hand with some pop. Another left lands seconds later. A body shot followed by a left that splits the guard from the former champ as well. Ortiz fights forward and scores on a left. Lomachenko with a strategically placed left to the body, followed by a shot to Ortiz's head. Uppercut lands inside for Lomachenko, who delivers a solid round. (10-9 Lomachenko, 96-94 Lomachenko)
Right-left combination upstairs lands for Lomachenko to start the round. He's already more active. Lomachenko also connects with a compact left hand. Big left hand connects for Lomachenko, and Ortiz resorts to holding. They meet head-on, with Lomachenko scoring on a sneaky left and Ortiz responding with a right almost simultaneously. Ortiz doubles up on a right uppercut right in the center of the ring. Ortiz is fighting a solid fight. Ortiz with a light flurry. Close round, with Lomachenko getting a slight edge. (10-9 Lomachenko, 86-85 Lomachenko)
Pop shot right-hand lands flush through Lomachenko's guard, or lack thereof, right in the center of the ring. Ortiz definitely grabbed Lomachenko's attention with that shot. Ortiz doubles up on the right hand well. Right-left combination grazes Lomachenko, too. Left-left-right combination lands for Ortiz, who's having himself a strong round. Ortiz cranks up a right hand and crashes it against Lomachenko's midsection to end the round. (10-9 Ortiz, 76-76)
Lomachenko pops Ortiz's head back with a straight right hand, still trying to compute Ortiz's change of stance. Ortiz with a combination that partially lands and probably looks much better to the judges. Loma with a short right hand and then combination to the body seconds later. (10-9 Lomachenko, 67-66 Lomachenko)
Lomachenko changes levels and connects on a lunging left to the body. That seemed to hurt Ortiz as Loma continues to get into a groove now. Ortiz appears to be slowing down a bit. Right hand from Loma comes around Ortiz's guard and lands. Swelling under Ortiz's left eye. Right-hand lands for Ortiz. But Lomachenko counters with a left and adds two more blows for good measure. Loma with a piercing right hand but Ortiz switches to southpaw and lands. He tags Lomachenko with a few more punches. Quick improvising from Ortiz, but Lomachenko secures the round. (10-9 Lomachenko, 57-57)
Lomachenko is now looking to commit to Ortiz's body and scores with a combination. A bit more urgency from the former unified champion this round as he has Ortiz on his back foot early on. Ortiz stands firm with a few punches. He scores with a right-hand moments later. Left hook lands for Loma. A much better round for Lomachenko. (10-9 Lomachenko, 48-47 Ortiz)
Ortiz digs in with several uppercuts while entangled in the clinch. He adds an unanswered right through Lomachenko's guard. Short left lands for the Ukrainian. They're tangled up in the clinch yet again. Ortiz adds a lightning-quick combination during the waning seconds, although Lomachenko absorbed most of the blows with his gloves. Still, Ortiz has been fearless and landed 54 punches this round. (10-9 Ortiz, 39-37 Ortiz)
We see Lomachenko trying to cut off the ring and assert his offense. Lomachenko goes upstairs with a right and digs into the body with a left as Ortiz takes a deep breath. Ortiz tags Loma with a short, powerful right hand. The former unified lightweight world champion is still trying to get into a groove. Just as that's said, Lomachenko clips Ortiz with a left hand right on the chin! Let's see how Ortiz responds. Lomachenko also splits Ortiz's guard with a left moments later. (10-9 Lomachenko, 29-28 Ortiz)
In his corner, Lomachenko is already dealing with bruising under his right eye. Lomachenko encroaches and connects on a straight left hand. They're in the clinch, where Ortiz sneaks in a couple of digging uppercuts. Left-hand grabs Lomachenko's attention, and Ortiz comes on strong with more aggression behind a right hand. Left to the body, right across the jaw from Lomachenko. Right-hand lands for Ortiz. Loma doubles up on a right jab. He adds a grazing right hand to the top of Ortiz's head. Another solid round for Ortiz.
Though Lomachenko can be a slow starter, we should find out rather quickly if ring rust plays any factor with him tonight. Right now, Ortiz is active and letting his jab go early on. A four-punch combination behind the jab lands. Just under a minute, Loma responds with a combination to the body and upstairs. It was blazing fast, too. Ortiz tags Lomachenko to the body with a quick combination. Strong first round for Ortiz, who's fighting in his first 12-round bout. (10-9 Ortiz)
Robeisy Ramirez kept chopping away with that left hook, and in the ninth round, it detonates to send Romero reeling back against the ropes. Moments later, he hurts Romero badly with two piercing straight lefts, and the referee wisely steps in to stop the fight.
Give credit to Ramirez, who was grinding toward a stoppage, and he notched it. However, if there's one criticism of Ramirez, it's that he needs to diversify his punches more. Ramirez has an explosive left hand but telegraphed it too much during this fight. He needs to flick out that right hand a lot more to set up the left, especially against superior opponents.
A ringside physician checks on Romero before the start of the sixth round due to the punishment he has taken. Romero is taking more chances, but it isn't stopping Ramirez from loading up on his left hand and thumping Romero every time he lands it. Shakur Stevenson is impressed.
Robiesy been looking better and better each time out 💪🏾
Ramirez comes around the guard with a looping left hook to blast Romero. He follows that with another left straight through the guard for a first-round knockdown. Romero fell backwards with a thud. Electric output from Ramirez!