By Chris Rodriguez
The boxing match for the ages is set as Lomachenko and Rigondeaux go head-to-head.
This fight is one for the ages. For the first time two, 2X gold medalists are fighting each other in a professional fight. This will likely go down as the most technically skilled bout in boxing history with both fighters capable of knocking out their opponent. Hall-of-Famer and all-time great, Roy Jones Jr even went as far to say, “It is the best fight on paper that boxing has ever seen.”
This Saturday, the fight features boxing’s rising star, Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko who promoter of Top Rank, Bob Arum, dubbed “the most skilled fighter since Muhammad Ali.”
In only ten pro bouts Lomachenko is 9-1 with 7 KO’s and probably the greatest amateur background ever with a record of 396-1 to go along with his two gold medals. 2017 has been a career year for him. This is his third fight and Top Rank is doing their best to promote and feature him as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.
This is his second fight on ESPN this year with him being in the main event. Lomachenko is a can’t-miss star with amazing talent, skill, relentless activity and enough power to end his opponent’s night. There’s a reason he’s already the consensus pound-for-pound best fighter in the sport by many boxing forums.
The challenger is Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux. He’s virtually unknown outside of the boxing world but well respected and feared within it. He, like Lomachenko, has a great amateur background and two gold medals and an undefeated record (17-0, 11 KOs).
Even with the 11 KOs out of 17 pro bouts, he’s thought to be boring in the ring.
Casual fans have always overlooked Rigondeaux because of this but true boxing enthusiasts recognize his incredible skill and impenetrable defense–maybe one of the greatest defenses ever. Aside from his fights being underwhelming, his age has been called into question. He is listed at age 37 but being from Cuba we can never be too sure if that’s his real age. Regardless of all the questions and lackluster performances, Rigondeaux’s talent is undeniable.
Lomachenko is correctly favored to win but the fight can go either way; it’s a true test of grit and mental toughness.
Both are superb fighters–Lomachenko has great offensive output but Rigondeaux’ defense is flawless. In a technical match, whoever figures out their opponent first has the clear advantage.
Let’s not forget Rignodeax is moving up from 122lbs to 130lbs to fight, which is also a big disadvantage for him. Even though this fight will be at junior-lightweight it will have the feeling of a Heavyweight showdown. This Saturday is huge for both fighters. Can Lomachenko take the next step into super-stardom or will Rigondeaux finally get the respect he deserves? From the theater in Madison Square Garden, we will have our answer.