The fight between super featherweights Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux was one that a lot of people debated would happen, or if it did, would take place next year. Well, boxing took another step forward recently when it was announced that the two would meet in early December at Madison Square Garden. These men have wanted to face off, and Top Rank was instrumental in making this happen.
For a long time Rigondeaux did not get the fights he felt he deserved. Television executives and boxing pundits as well, felt he was a boring fighter to watch and got tired of pushing him. Guillermo’s former promoter, coincidentally Top Rank, also failed to help him step up to the next level. The southpaw is undefeated with 17 wins, 11 of them by knockout.
Rigondeaux moved on to Roc Nation in 2015, and the fight with Lomachenko will only be the fourth time he has stepped between the ropes since that year. Bad luck has seemed to find him, and most of his inactivity could not be attributed to him. Still, the fact remains that he has not been as active as he would have liked.
Enter Lomachenko. Also a southpaw, he has only fought nine times and won by knockout seven times. He has suffered one loss. That was back in 2014 at the hands of Orlando Salido. He had a LOT of amateur fights – 397 to be exact. He only lost one of those. Loma is one of those rare communities; a boxer who is a technically sound fighter and still has a fan base that want to watch him ply his trade. That is unusual, and obviously did not happen for Rigo. He is also on everyone’s pound-for-pound rankings.
If styles make fights then this should be good. Lomachenko is an offensive genius while Rigondeaux excels defensively. Don’t expect to see anything boring in this one. Loma will see to it that there is action, and Rigo will have to be active to utilize his defensive techniques.
Both of these fighters will make their own history in yet another way. Guillermo and Vasyl each have two gold medals from Olympic Games. Rigo’s came in 2000 and 2004 for Cuba, while Loma’s were in 2008 and 2012 for Ukraine. This will be the first time that two double gold medalists face off against each other.
Vasyl has the age advantage at 29 compared with Rigo’s 36, but don’t expect it to make a huge difference in this one. Rigondeaux has yet to suffer a defeat and is certainly not shop-worn of late. Both men know how to win, and I look for a competitive fight from these two gold-winning Olympians.