Two amateur icons, two technical masters and two of the best in the business, Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux have been rumoured to meet in New York this December to decipher who reigns supreme in the squared circle.
With two Olympic gold medals each spanning four Olympic games, as well as a plethora of other amateur honours, the Ukrainian and Cuban pugilists have yet to have their standout night as professionals, despite making the top ten in most pound-for-pound lists.
At the age of 36, Guillermo Rigondeaux is eighteen fights into a stuttering professional career, and with Nonito Donaire arguably the only ‘name’ on his résumé the southpaw is running out of opportunities for a deserved super-fight. With a tricky, slick, awkward style, the Cuban has struggled to nail down a regular TV deal with a promotional team which has forced him into becoming somewhat of a ‘road warrior’, fighting in the USA, UK, Japan, Macau, Ireland and Mexico.
Rigondeaux was last seen in the ring back in June on the Ward vs Kovalev II undercard, when he scored a controversial first round knockout of Moises Flores. The outcome was later reversed to a no-decision, after the NSAC had ruled that Rigondeaux has inadvertently hit Flores after the bell.
In stark comparison, Vasyl Lomachenko has been building his C.V nicely. Now with a record 9-1, having held world championship belts at featherweight and super-featherweight, ‘Hi-Tech’ is regarded by many as the pound-for-pound king in boxing with a world title loss to Orlando Salido in his second professional outing the only blot on his copybook.
With a punch-perfect win over Miguel Marriaga in his last performance, Lomachenko has been named alongside everyone in the lower weight categories, with fans and experts wanting the Ukrainian technician to be put in with the best challengers despite being ten fights into his professional career.
According to sources close to the camps, Lomachenko’s manager, Egon Klimas, has proposed a catch-weight of 124lbs for the bout, which Gary Hyde, Rigondeaux’s manager, has accepted.
With a two inch reach advantage over Rigondeaux, Lomachenko is the naturally bigger man, so for this fight to happen you would expect Rigondeaux to have to bulk up in order to be comfortable at the weight. Hyde, Ridondeaux’s manager, has said the following;
“We would insist on a rehydration clause of 135 pounds for fight night. If Klimas agrees to this, then we have a fight. Lomachenko is a masterful fighter like Rigo and this match- up will be a classic. We have a pair of two-time Olympic gold medallists and current world champions going at it. I believe Rigo is the more ferocious of the two fighters and I firmly believe he will dominate Lomachenko. Klimas, you know what you must do to make the fight, just pick up the phone and call me. Rigo is ready!”
With Canelo-GGG, Kovalev-Ward, Joshua-Klitschko and Thurman-Garcia already in 2017, a super-fight between two of the most technically gifted boxers to grace the squared circle would be a fitting end to a blockbuster year. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this one makes it over the line.
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