Jamaine Ortiz obviously is well aware of his co-promoter’s plan.
The brain trust for Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. intends to match Vasiliy Lomachenko against Devin Haney if the heavily favored Lomachenko defeats Ortiz on Saturday night in New York. Preliminary planning of what would be an intriguing bout between Lomachenko and Haney hasn’t offended Ortiz.
Constant talk of Haney-Lomachenko has only motivated Ortiz even more to pull off what would be considered a huge upset against a three-division champion who has long been considered an elite-level boxer.
“I always wanted to fight Devin Haney,” Ortiz told BoxingScene.com. “I think that’ll be a great matchup, and I do see myself fighting Devin Haney. All of the pieces of the puzzle are all lining up and once I upset Lomachenko on October 29th, me and Devin Haney will be fighting.”
The 26-year-old Ortiz isn’t a trash-talker, but the understated contender is full of confidence following his career-changing, unanimous-decision victory over former WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel Herring in his most recent bout. Ortiz (16-0-1, 8 KOs) out-boxed Herring (23-4, 11 KOs) to win their 10-rounder on all three scorecards – 97-93, 97-93 and 96-94 – on May 21 at Resorts World Las Vegas.
The Worcester, Massachusetts native will encounter a more complete southpaw in Lomachenko, who Ortiz considers “fresh” for a 34-year-old opponent. Ukraine’s Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) acknowledged in another interview with BoxingScene.com that he wants nothing more than an opportunity to fight for Haney’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO lightweight titles after he opposes Ortiz in a main event ESPN+ will stream from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater (10 p.m. ET).
Ortiz naturally has his own vision of how a shot at the undefeated, undisputed 135-pound champion would unfold. Needless to say, Ortiz feels he would give Haney more trouble than former champion George Kambosos Jr. (20-2, 10 KOs) provided during either of the 12-round title fights Haney decisively won against him over the past four months.
“I think it will be one to remember, one where the fans will have to ask for another one,” Ortiz said of a fight with Haney. “I believe sometimes I can be entertaining when I want to. He’s a very defensive fighter, but I feel I’ll take that out of him and make it more of a fight. I’m not gonna try to box a boxer, you know?”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.