Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jamaine Ortiz have agreed to a deal for a lightweight fight that’s targeted for late October, sources told ESPN.
No site has been finalized for the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN main event, sources said.
Lomachenko, formerly ESPN’s pound-for-pound No. 1 boxer, last competed in December, recording a unanimous decision victory over Richard Commey. He agreed to a deal for a fight against George Kambosos for four lightweight belts in June, but instead elected to remain in Ukraine when Russia invaded.
The 34-year-old even joined a territorial defense battalion, as did his good friend, heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, who meets Anthony Joshua in a rematch on Saturday.
On Tuesday, Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) arrived in Los Angeles to begin training camp in pursuit of the undisputed lightweight championship. Devin Haney stepped in when Lomachenko stayed in Ukraine and went on to soundly outpoint Kambosos in Australia to capture the undisputed 135-pound championship.
Haney and Kambosos are set for an Oct. 15 rematch in Melbourne, Australia, on ESPN, and the winner could be lined up for a defense vs. Lomachenko next year.
In the meantime, Lomachenko will prepare for the potential summit meeting with a matchup against Ortiz (16-0-1, 8 KOs), who broke out with a unanimous decision victory over Jamel Herring in May that led to the former champion’s retirement.
The 26-year-old from Worcester, Massachusetts, has never faced anyone close to Lomachenko’s level, and even the Herring fight was a quantum leap in competition. Ortiz’s lone blemish is an eight-round draw with Joseph Adorno last year.
Lomachenko, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, lost his three lightweight titles to Teofimo Lopez in 2020 and subsequently underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. He’s rated No. 2 at lightweight and No. 9 in pound-for-pound rankings.