It’s on. Vasyl “Hi-tech” Lomachenko is set to fight Guillermo Rigondeaux on December 9, 2017 at the Madison Square Garden. This bout is history in the making since it is the first time that two two-time Olympic Gold Medalists will face off in the ring. Lomachenko, an Oxnard-trained boxer won an Olympic gold in 2008 as well as 2012 for Ukraine and fought for a world title in his third pro fight. While Rigondeaux won an Olympic gold in 2000 as well as 2004 for Cuba and he dominated many of his opponents for his speed and elusiveness. Furthermore, the two boast of a combined record of 26-1 with 18 knockouts, but their amateur records are simply remarkable. Lomachenko was 396-1 before turning pro and according to Boxingnewsandviews.com Rigondeaux was 463-12 before turning pro. With all these in mind, the boxing bets are off since the skill levels of the two are just insane.
Will size matter?
Putting the above mentioned factors into consideration, many sports analyst feel that Rigondeaux is just undersized (17-0, 11 KOs), who will be moving up to junior lightweight, from junior featherweight to face Lomachenko, the current World Boxing Organization Super Featherweight. But many are still enthusiastic for “chess match” of the highest order. Why not? These two gladiators are arguably two of the most skilled boxers on the planet. To add, Rigondeaux, the current World Boxing Association Super Bantamweight world champion—who’s moving two weight divisions and eight whole pounds—added that he’s not complaining about the size difference. His trainer Pedro Diaz backed this up saying that Lomachenko’s weight and size are not going to work to his advantage.
“If you look, you will see that Lomachenko is only 4 cm taller than Rigondeaux, but the scope of Guillermo’s arms is 3 cm longer than that of Vasyl. Rigondeaux has a punch and he is very technical, and also fast. We do not underestimate the merits of Lomachenko. He is an excellent boxer, a wonderful opponent and has a wonderful team. But it was the same thing with Nonito [Donaire],” Diaz told Mundo Boxing.
Prior to the Fight
Lomachenko’s last fight was on ESPN versus Columbian Miguel Marriaga (25-3 21) and during that fight, the Ukrainian encountered a very brave Marriaga who was completely out of his league. At one point, Lomachenko even showboated and signaled Marriaga that he was going to the corner—a bad place—for a mediocre boxer. “He overwhelmed me with pressure; he dominated the fight,” Marriaga said of his opponent after the fight. With regard to Rigondeaux, he has been on the hunt for worthy challengers who are willing to face him. In fact, in his last few fights, he has tried instilling some flair; probably trying to insult critics who said that his boxing style is boring and dull. He’s outclassed his last opponent: Moises Flores who was even knocked out in one round. His previous opponent, Jazza Dickens (22-3 7KO) didn’t last that long as Rigondeaux bombarded his head in two rounds for a TKO victory.
All in all, the Lomachenko – Rigondeaux bout is arguably the best bout of 2017 and a welcome addition to an already stacked boxing year; together with the Canelo Alvarez – Gennady Golovkin and the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor spectacles. Simply put, 2017 is a big year for boxing fans and for sure, many of them wish that every boxing year is like this one!
What do you think about this fight? Do you think it will live up to the hype? Let us know what you think in our comments section.