It was a daunting and arduous task, but one that Vasiliy Lomachenko was more than willing to take on.
After being knocked off his lightweight throne at the hands of Teofimo Lopez in 2020, the Ukrainian star began the slow and meticulous climb back up the 135-pound ladder. With back-to-back victories over Masayoshi Nakatani and Richard Commey, Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) had re-established himself as one of the premier fighters in the world. As a result, George Kambosos Jr., who defeated Lopez one year later, selected the now 34-year-old as his next opponent.
Ultimately, however, Lomachenko decided against taking Kambosos up on his offer and would instead spend the next several months aiding his native land from the Russian invasion. While the former pound-for-pound star has officially made his way back stateside and will begin preparing for his comeback fight against Jamaine Ortiz on October 29th, he recently revealed that his country is constantly on his mind.
“I pray every day for Ukraine to stop the war,” said Lomachenko recently during an interview with Top Rank. “It’s very bad.”
As the former three-divisional belt holder attempts to restart his career, he does so with added motivation. Since wrapping two Olympic gold medals around his neck, Lomachenko has long expressed an insatiable thirst to become an undisputed champion. Should things go according to plan come October 29th, Lomachenko could find himself on the verge of achieving just that.
Having declined Kambosos’s offer, Devin Haney happily stepped in to face the Australian star. In what turned out to be one-sided traffic, Haney covered himself in undisputed glory following 12 lopsided rounds against Kambosos on June 5th.
Unwilling to simply allow Haney to walk away unscathed, Kambosos swiftly enacted his immediate rematch clause. The two will now formally swap fists once more on October 16th, in Melbourne, Australia.
According to Top Rank headman Bob Arum, a showdown between both Lomachenko and Haney is one that he desires most. Although the Ukrainian star is proud of what he’s accomplished throughout his pugilistic career, he admits that wrapping his waist with the IBF, WBO, WBA, and WBC lightweight titles isn’t just what he craves but what he needs.
“I prepare for this moment. I need this chance, I need this fight, undisputed, undisputed world champion.”