Vasiliy Lomachenko is set to return to the ring for the first time since his upset loss to Teofimo Lopez. Lomachenko will face off with fellow lightweight Masayoshi Nakatani on June 26 at Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas.
Lomachenko underwent shoulder surgery following the loss to Lopez. This was the second shoulder injury of Lomachenko’s career. After the Lopez fight, Lomachenko stated that he was unable to throw his lead right hook because of the injury.
Nakatani is a solid fighter and one of the only men — along with Lomachenko — to have experienced meaningful moments of success against Lopez, losing a competitive 2019 decision. After that loss, Nakatani was out of action for more than a year before a December 2020 bout with Felix Verdejo in which he came back from two early knockdowns to score a ninth-round stoppage.
Lomachenko is looking to battle his way back to the top of a suddenly stacked lightweight division, and hopefully a rematch with Lopez, who now holds the WBA, WBO and IBF titles at 135 pounds.
The card is set to air live on ESPN. The June 26 date already features another big fight as Gervonta “Tank” Davis will meet Mario Barrios on PBC on SHOWTIME pay-per-view that same night.