Vasiliy Lomachenko is healthy and ready to earn his way back into a lightweight championship fight, but first he needs a convincing victory against Richard Commey on Saturday (ESPN/ESPN+, 5:30 p.m. ET). Then he’ll have to hope that champion George Kambosos Jr. will fight him.
For now, all Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KOs), 33, of Ukraine, can control is to showcase his skills and score an impressive win against Commey in the main event of a Top Rank Boxing card at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“I’m very excited because this is the next step of my boxing career,” Lomachenko said at Thursday’s news conference at MSG.
Commey (30-3, 27 KOs), 34, of Ghana, was a lightweight champion until he lost his belt to Teofimo Lopez in 2019. A TKO victory over Jackson Marinez in February put Commey on the verge of another title shot as well.
“Losing is part of boxing, so regardless of how you lose, it’s all about coming back,” Commey said. “So whatever happened with the Teofimo Lopez fight, it is what it is and I took it as a man. I knew I needed to come back and I came back very strong, and that is the reason why Loma chose me, and Saturday we are going to see what happens.”
Also on the card, heavyweight power puncher Jared Anderson (10-0, 10 KOs), 22, of Toledo, Ohio, looks to keep his KO streak alive in an eight-round battle against Oleksandr Teslenko (17-1, 13 KOs), 29, of Ukraine; and middleweight Nico Ali Walsh (2-0, 2 KOs), 21, of Chicago — Muhammad Ali’s grandson — makes his third appearance inside the ring to face Reyes Sanchez (6-0, 2 KOs), 29, of Los Angeles, in a four-round bout.
Follow along as Tim Fiorvanti and Michael Rothstein recap every fight from the card. Watch the fights on ESPN+.
Next fight: Kelvin Davis vs. Ryan Schwartzberg , four rounds, welterweights
Ward demolished Norwwod with first-round TKO
“Mighty” Joe Ward kicked off the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Richard Commey undercard with a clinical TKO victory against an overmatched Britton Norwood.
Ward (6-1, 3 KOs), a light heavyweight who represented Ireland in the 2016 Olympic Games, stung Norwood to the body early and then unleashed a three-punch combination that sent Norwood crumbling to the canvas. Norwood got back to his feet, but wouldn’t last much longer.
A series of unanswered punches to Norwood’s head continued, and Ward even looked to referee Charlie Fitch at one point. Fitch stepped in at 1:35 into Round 1 and stopped the fight.
This was the sixth consecutive victory for Ward, 28, who is trained by Joey Gamache. Norwood (10-4-1, 7 KOs), who is from Jackson, Mississippi, suffered his first loss since April 2018.
Still to come:
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Richard Commey, 12 rounds, lightweights
Jared Anderson vs. Oleksandr Teslenko, eight rounds, heavyweights
Keyshawn Davis vs. Jose Zaragoza, six rounds, lightweights
Nico Ali Walsh vs. Reyes Sanchez, four rounds, middleweights
Xander Zayas vs. Alessio Mastronunzio, six rounds, junior middleweights
Pablo Valdez vs. Julio Cesar Sanchez, six rounds, welterweights
John Bauza vs. Michael Williams Jr., eight rounds, junior welterweights
James Wilkins vs. Juan Tapia, eight rounds, junior lightweights