- Andres Ferrari is ESPN.com’s boxing and MMA editor.
Vasiliy Lomachenko returns to Madison Square Garden for the fifth time on Saturday night to headline a Top Rank Boxing card against Richard Commey (ESPN/ESPN+, 5:30 p.m. ET).
Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KOs), 33, of Ukraine, was the lightweight champion until he lost a decision to Teofimo Lopez in October 2020. After recovering from a shoulder injury that required surgery, Lomachenko rebounded with a dominant ninth-round TKO victory over Masayoshi Nakatani in June.
“I am 100 percent healthy and ready for Saturday night,” Lomachenko said on Tuesday. “So many great moments in my career have taken place at Madison Square Garden. I won the lightweight title against Jorge Linares in that arena, so returning there brings back many great memories.”
Commey (30-3, 27 KOs), 34, of Ghana, also lost to Lopez in 2019 in an IBF title bout. After almost two years away from the ring, Commey returned to score a sixth-round TKO victory over Jackson Marinez at The Bubble at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. A victory over Lomachenko would put Commey back into the title picture.
“I’m feeling good. I’m very excited. This is my second time coming here,” Commey said during Thursday’s news conference in New York. “The last time didn’t work out well for me [against Teofimo Lopez], so I have the opportunity to right the wrong.
“Losing is part of boxing, so regardless of how you lose, it’s all about coming back. 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.”
Can Lomachenko look like the dominating fighter he was before losing to Lopez? Or will Commey get the upset and position himself for a title shot in 2022?
We asked former opponents and boxing insiders for their insight and predictions.
Editor’s note: Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.
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