Jamaine Ortiz to Fight Vasiliy Lomachenko in October

Jamaine Ortiz has lined up his next opponent…

The 26-year-old Dominican and Puerto Rican professional boxer and Vasiliy Lomachenko have agreed to a deal for a lightweight fight that’s targeted for late October, according to ESPN.

Jamaine OrtizNo 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.

Ortiz, 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.

The chief-support bout is slated to be a featherweight matchup between Robeisy Ramirez and Jessie Magdaleno, sources said, after the sides agreed to a deal.

Isaac Cruz Set to Fight Yuriorkis Gamboa in Lightweight Bout This April

Isaac Cruz has lined up his next opponent…

The 23-year-old Mexican professional boxer has reportedly agreed to a lightweight fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa on April 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, according to ESPN.

Isaac CruzThe bout will serve as chief support to the April 16 Showtime PPV headlined by the Errol Spence Jr.Yordenis Ugas welterweight title unification, sources said.

The 147-pound bout between Radzhab Butaev and Eimantas Stanionis also will appear on the undercard, leaving one more slot.

Cruz (22-2-1, 15 KOs) stunned the boxing world by pushing star fighter Gervonta Davis to the brink in a December decision loss. Cruz accepted the fight on a month’s notice after Rolando Romero withdrew from the bout, and Cruz established himself as a player in the stacked 135-pound division with the spirited effort.

Despite being a major underdog, Cruz lost by just two rounds on two cards and four on the third.

Now, Cruz will receive another night in the spotlight on the undercard of the anticipated Spence-Ugas fight at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

He meets Gamboa, a former two-division champion and Olympic gold medalist. At 40, Gamboa hasn’t shown much in recent bouts, but he has proved durable.

 

The Cuban boxer’s previous two fights came against Davis and Devin Haney.

Gamboa (30-4, 18 KOs) tore his Achilles tendon in the defeat to Davis but made it to Round 12 before he was stopped. Eleven months later, Gamboa was shut out on two scorecards in a unanimous decision loss to Haney.

Joseph Diaz Jr. Agrees to WBC Lightweight Title Fight Against Devin Haney

Joseph Diaz Jr. is thisclose to a title fight…

The 28-year-old Mexican American boxer and Devin Haney have agreed to terms for a WBC lightweight title fight on December 3 or December 4 in Las Vegas on DAZN, according to ESPN.Joseph Diaz Jr.

Contracts haven’t been signed yet but details are in the process of being finalized, sources said. The framework of the deal includes a rematch clause in the event Haney loses.

The fight is part of an intriguing three-week stretch for the lightweight division. Teofimo Lopez, who holds four lightweight titles, fights George Kambosos on November 27 on DAZN.

One week later, Eddie Hearn will promote another important lightweight fight with the Haney-Diaz clash. That same weekend, on December 5, Gervonta Davis fights Rolando Romero on Showtime PPV.

And then on December 11 on ESPN, Vasiliy Lomachenko meets Richard Commey.

The Haney-Diaz agreement caps months of back-and-forth insults traded between the boxers. When Diaz (32-1-1, 15 KOs) agreed to fight Ryan Garcia on November 27, Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) accused Diaz of ducking a chance at him.

But that fight fell through when Garcia suffered a hand injury in training and underwent surgery on Monday. With Haney and Diaz both in need of an end-of-year fight, the matchup made too much sense for all parties.

Haney, ESPN’s No. 3 lightweight, is coming off the biggest win of his career, a May decision victory over former champion Jorge Linares. Diaz, too, is coming off a strong performance, a July points win over Javier Fortuna that earned him the No. 7 spot in ESPN’s lightweight rankings.

That was the Olympian’s first fight at 135 pounds. He defeated Tevin Farmer in 2020 to win a 130-pound title and in his other title bid, lost to Gary Russell Jr. at 126 pounds in 2018.

Haney, No. 3 on ESPN’s list of the top 25 boxers under 25, is one of the sport’s fastest-rising stars. The Las Vegas-based fighter boasts over 1 million followers on Instagram, and with his abundant charisma, surely has a chance to break through to the mainstream. What’s stopped him thus far is lack of opposition.

The 22-year-old Haney often calls himself the most-avoided fighter in the sport. That can no longer be said with a stern challenger in Diaz lined up for December.

Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. Defeats Javier Fortuna to Claim Vacant WBC Interim Lightweight Title

Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. is celebrating his good fortuna

The 28-year-old Mexican American professional boxer delivered the most impressive performance of his career on Friday in Los Angeles, scoring a unanimous decision over Javier Fortuna to claim the vacant WBC interim lightweight title.

Joseph "JoJo" Diaz Jr.

Scores were 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112. ESPN also scored it 115-112.

In his lightweight debut, Diaz (32-1-1, 15 KOs) showed he could absorb heavy shots from a dangerous puncher and carry his own power, too. He wobbled Fortuna toward the end of the 10th round of a fight that featured some brutal exchanges on the inside, often waged at a frenetic pace.

“I can fight all the top guys at 135 pounds,” said Diaz, who entered the bout as ESPN’s No. 5 boxer at 130 pounds. “I want Ryan Garcia or Devin Haney. Let’s make this s— happen.

“I’ve been sparring 160 pounders. I’ve always worked with bigger guys my whole life.”

Despite fighting for his first world title at 126 pounds (a close decision defeat to Gary Russell Jr.) before capturing a championship at 130, 135 appears to be Diaz’s most natural weight class. He looked stronger than ever, and without the tough weight cut, showed off energy down the stretch to unleash four- and five-punch combinations against a crafty contender.

The 2012 Olympian was forced to deal with adversity yet again. He suffered a cut over his left eye in Round 3 following a clash of heads — a gash in the same area he bled from in his title-winning effort vs. Tevin Farmer in January 2020.

The following frame, Diaz was penalized one point by referee Raul Caiz Jr., for hitting behind the head, a point deduction that seemed borderline. Diaz argued that he was hitting Fortuna on the side of the head to no avail.

Fortuna, ESPN’s No. 8 fighter at 135 pounds, pressed the action in Rounds 5 and 6, beating Diaz to the punch with power shots. But the 31-year-old couldn’t sustain.

Fighting in front of a hometown crowd at Banc of California Stadium, Diaz ratcheted up the pressure and began to dig away at Fortuna’s body with a two-fisted attack that stunted the Dominican’s momentum.

Diaz simply landed the cleaner, flusher shots in the exchanges down the stretch, winning the favor of the judges in a bout that featured many tit-for-tat rounds. Fortuna threw 761 punches — 240 more than Diaz — yet landed 10 less shots.

With the convincing victory, Diaz set himself up for a career-high payday in one of boxing’s most star-driven divisions. Gervonta Davis, Teofimo Lopez, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia all reside at lightweight.

The easiest matchups to make are with Haney and Garcia, both of whom also compete on DAZN. Haney and Garcia also are available; they each have no fights scheduled. But it’s the Garcia fight in particular that is more appealing for many reasons.

Garcia was actually set to fight Fortuna (36-3-1, 25 KOs) on this night before he withdrew from the bout to seek treatment for his mental health. When he pulled out, Diaz quickly lobbied for the opportunity to step in, looking for redemption after losing his title at the scales in February before settling for a majority draw against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov.

Now that Garcia is back in training with Eddy Reynoso at Canelo Alvarez’s gym in San Diego, a bout between Diaz and the social media sensation is a natural. They’re both Mexican Americans from Southern California who are promoted by Oscar De La Hoya. Stage the fight this fall in L.A., and they can practically guarantee a windfall at the box office.

“JoJo once again showed a lot of guts, a lot of courage and a big heart,” De La Hoya said. “His first fight at 135 was not too shabby. I think he did a great job against a guy who’s been avoided for years.”

Ryan Garcia Agrees to Terms with Javier Fortuna on a Fight This Summer

Ryan Garcia is sealing the deal…

The 22-year-old Mexican American budding lightweight contender has agreed to terms with former champion Javier Fortuna on a fight this summer, according to ESPN.

Ryan Garcia

In March, the WBC ordered Garcia to fight Fortuna in a defense of the WBC’s interim lightweight title. The winner will likely be in contention to face Devin Haney, who holds the sanctioning body’s top belt in the 135-pound division.

The location and date is yet to be determined, but sources confirmed to ESPN it likely won’t occur on July 10, which is the same date as UFC 264 featuring the trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) is coming off a January win over Luke Campbell, which was the toughest bout of the 22-year-old’s young career. Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs), who was once the junior lightweight champion, has won three straight fights since a no-contest against Adrian Granados in 2018.

Friday’s development comes exactly two weeks before a scheduled purse bid if Garcia and Fortuna’s promoters couldn’t come to an agreement.

Garcia, who has one of the biggest social media followings in boxing, has long viewed as one of Golden Boy Promotions‘ top prospects. Garcia defeated Campbell with a 7th-round technical knockout via a big body shot, Garcia’s fifth consecutive stoppage victory.

News of the Garcia-Fortuna bout was first reported by The Athletic.

World Boxing Council Orders Ryan Garcia to Face Javier Fortuna for Interim Lightweight Title

Ryan Garcia has lined up his next opponent…

The World Boxing Council has ordered the 22-year-old rising lightweight boxing star to face contender Javier Fortuna for the interim lightweight title and right to be mandatory challenger to champion Devin Haney.

Ryan “Kingry” Garcia 

The negotiation period has begun for a Garcia-Fortuna bout with a purse bid scheduled for April 16 if no deal is in place by then.

Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) won the WBC interim lightweight title with a seventh-round TKO victory over Luke Campbell. Despite significant interest from Haney, Garcia decided not to enter negotiations with Haney for a title shot, instead pursuing bigger deals with Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Manny Pacquiao. Neither deal materialized, and now Garcia appears set to face Fortuna this summer.

Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs) is a former champion coming off a sixth-round knockout victory over Antonio Lozada Jr. in November. He was the secondary WBC mandatory challenger.

Garcia is one of boxing’s biggest young stars with a significant following, particularly from Gen Z and social media communities. But his mission has been to gain respect for his boxing ability. He made his first big step in that by overcoming a first-round knockdown to beat Campbell earlier this year.

If a bout with Fortuna is finalized, Garcia would have his second consecutive contender to add to his résumé and continue to raise his profile.

Teofimo Lopez Jr.’s Next Likely Opponent: George Kambosos Jr.

Teofimo Lopez Jr. has an idea on who his likely next opponent will be.

The 23-year-old Honduran American professional boxer, a lightweight star, is focused on keeping all five of his lightweight titles as he gears up for his next fight.

Teofimo Lopez Jr.

Mandatory IBF challenger George Kambosos Jr. is the front-runner to fight Lopez next, in a bout that would likely take place in the early spring in the United States, sources told ESPN.

Top Rank, which manages Lopez, is in talks with Kambosos’ team on a deal. There was early talk of this fight being in Kambosos’ homeland of Australia, where there could be a larger crowd, but the intention now, according to sources, is for the bout to take place in the U.S. due to COVID-19 restrictions and quarantine requirements in Australia, among other things. New York has been mentioned as an early location option.

Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) became the IBF mandatory challenger after defeating Lee Selby by split decision in October.

Lopez is coming off the biggest win of any boxer in 2020, defeating former ESPN No.1 pound-for-pound fighter Vasiliy Lomachenko in October to win the IBF, WBO, WBA, WBC franchise and The Ring magazine titles. He’s the supreme belt holder in an extremely exciting lightweight division that also features young undefeated stars Ryan Garcia, Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Devin Haney.

 

Lopez told ESPN his ideal plan for 2021 is fighting Haney at lightweight before moving up to the junior welterweight division to face the winner of the May 8 Jose RamirezJosh Taylor undisputed title bout. That could still be in store as the year goes on, but he knows Kambosos is likely next.

“The only thing that is holding it up is my mandatory. I have to pay my respect to that guy. He fought his way up, the same way I had to fight my way up to be IBF lightweight world champion before I got to the point where I fought Vasiliy Lomachenko,” Lopez told ESPN. “I’ll deal with that process first, negotiate, see what happens, and if they agree with all the terms, that will have to be the guy. It’s not because it’s who I want but because it’s my mandatory. A lot of people say I’m ducking a lot of people, but I’m not. I got to go through the process — that’s just part of the game. If things go south, Devin Haney is the next guy, and hopefully we can make that fight happen without him trying to overprice himself.”

“I’m a true champion. I’m not letting go of any of my belts.”

If Kambosos’ team doesn’t agree to a deal this week, the IBF will send a letter for a purse bid Saturday. Approximately a week and a half after the letter is sent, a purse bid would be set to lock in the pay structure of a fight. If Kambosos still doesn’t accept the purse bid deal, Lopez and Top Rank will seek to move on to other, more appealing options.

Coming off a banner year in which he was named Fighter of the Year by multiple outlets, Lopez plans to continue to be in big 50-50 bouts and add to his large collection of titles.

Lopez told ESPN he is at about 70% coming off foot surgery after the Lomachenko fight. He shed a walking boot and has begun running. He plans to get back into the ring by the end of the month and expects to be 100% by his next fight date, which is currently expected to be in late April or May.

Ryan Garcia Survives First Career Knockdown to Claim TKO Victory Over Luke Campbell

Ryan Garcia is living up to the hype…

The 22-year-old Mexican American boxer survived an early knockdown to notch a stunning, seventh-round, TKO victory over Luke Campbell on Saturday night.

Ryan Garcia

In front of roughly 6,000 fans at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Garcia won the interim WBC lightweight title with a left hook to the body that sent Campbell to his knees. Campbell attempted to get to his feet by the end of the count, but referee Laurence Cole waved the fight off to give Garcia the TKO win.

For most of his career, Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) has been known for a social media following that has overshadowed his ring credentials. With the victory, he said he showed he was more than an internet sensation.

“You’re not who people tell you [you] are,” Garcia said in his postfight interview on DAZN. “You’re who you choose to be. And I chose to be a champion tonight. I wasn’t going to let nothing stop me.”

Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs), a former title challenger and 2012 Olympic gold medalist, was billed as the toughest test of Garcia’s young career, and the British boxer lived up to that.

In the second round, Campbell dropped Garcia with a looping left hook that caught him on the chin. Garcia said it was the first time he had been knocked down in his career.

“I think I got a little too excited over the moment,” said Garcia, who was carried into the ring seated on a throne while wearing a gold crown.

But “King Ry” responded in the third round, regaining his bearings and nearly ending the fight in the fifth. Garcia hit Campbell with a left hook at the bell that sent Campbell staggering into the ropes. Two rounds later, Garcia picked up the most significant win of his career.

Campbell had never been stopped in his pro career, even in title fights against Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jorge Linares. Garcia and Campbell both noted that following Saturday’s bout.

“That was the hardest shot I was ever hit with,” Campbell said. “I tried and tried to get up, but I couldn’t. I felt him coming on, and I was moving back, and when you move back, my body relaxed a little bit, and that’s the exact time he hit me.”

Garcia added, “I showed today that I’m special.”

Campbell agreed with that, saying of Garcia in a tweet afterward, “Well done and a massive future ahead for him. I wish him all the best.”

Garcia joined the ranks of young, promising fighters in the lightweight division. Teofimo Lopez, 23, won three of the four belts in the 135-pound division when he beat Lomachenko in October 2019. Devin Haney, 22, holds the WBC‘s top belt.

But the fighter Garcia said he wants the most is Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 26, who holds one of the WBA’s secondary belts and is coming off an impressive knockout victory over Leo Santa Cruz in October.

“I really want to be a man of my word,” Garcia said. “I really want to fight Tank. I know people are worried about it [happening], but I’m ready for it.”

Ryan Garcia’s WBC Title Bout Against Luke Campbell Moved to January 2021

Ryan Garcia will have to wait a month to get back in the ring…

A date has been finalized for the rescheduled vacant WBC title bout between the 22-year-old Mexican American boxer and Luke Campbell. The two will fight on Saturday, January 2, DAZN has announced.

Ryan Garcia

Garcia and Campbell were scheduled to fight on December 5 in Los Angeles, but the fight was postponed after Campbell tested positive for COVID-19 on November 10.

“My mindset going into this fight hasn’t changed, and my training hasn’t stopped,” Garcia said. “I’m excited we have a new date and can finally bring this to the fans. I’m here, and I’m ready to ring in the new year with a victory … let’s go!”

Campbell, who has resumed training back in England, doesn’t seem too concerned about the short delay. “New date, new year, same result,” said Campbell. “I’m fully back in training and have never felt better. What a way to start 2021. This is going to be with a clinical Luke Campbell win.”

Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) hasn’t fought since a first-round KO victory over Francisco Fonseca in February. Garcia trains with Eddy Reynoso, who also trains middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, junior lightweight contender Oscar Valdez and former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr.

Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs), 33, lost a unanimous decision challenging then lightweight unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko in August 2019.

Devin Haney is theWBC lightweight titlist and Teofimo Lopez Jr. is the WBC “franchise” champion.

Ryan Garcia to Fight Luke Campbell for the WBC Interim Lightweight Title in December

The date is set for Ryan Garcia’s title fight…

The bout between the 22-year-old Mexican American boxer and Luke Campbell for the WBC interim lightweight title will take place on December 5, Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN have announced.

Ryan Garcia

The venue is still to be determined.

Vasiliy Lomachenko is the WBC lightweight “franchise” champion; Devin Haney is the WBC titleholder.

This is the first title fight for the 22-year-old Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs), who has not fought since a highlight-reel first-round knockout of Francisco Fonseca on February 14.

“I’ve been eagerly waiting to get back in the ring and have been working harder than ever to get here,” Garcia said. “It’s been a tough year for everyone, but I’m excited to bring the fans an escape for the night … or based on my track record, a few minutes at most. Luke’s record speaks for itself, but I’m ready to prove the doubters wrong. This is my era now and Dec. 5 is just the start of it.”

Added promoter Oscar De La Hoya: “For years, the world of boxing has been clamoring for a crossover star who can reach new audiences that have gone untapped for far too long. Ryan Garcia stands at the precipice of doing the same thing at an incredibly young age when he takes on Luke Campbell.”

The 33-year-old Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) is ESPN‘s third-ranked lightweight and a seasoned veteran who has faced the likes of Jorge Linares and Lomachenko in recent years.

“2020 has been an extremely tough year for everyone, so I’m really pleased we can finally get this fight officially on and give the fans something to look forward to,” said Campbell, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist. “There’s been a lot of talk and he’s clearly a very highly regarded fighter, but I’m going to prove that this is far too much, far too soon, and that I’m on a completely different level.

“I’ve fought in America before, so this will be nothing new for myself and my team. Fans or no fans, the one thing I can guarantee is that I will be coming back to the UK with the victory. Training hasn’t stopped for me, and I’m going to be in peak condition to show something very special from Luke Campbell on December 5.”