Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux: Two Most Decorated Fighters Set to Square Off in Historic Fight
One of the most highly anticipated bouts of 2017 is set to take place on Saturday from the Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden, when WBO Junior Lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1) defends his strap against WBO Super and lineal Super Bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0-1).
This is a never before seen matchup as both fighters are 2-time Olympic Gold medalists. Lomachenko won the gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics fighting as a Featherweight, then he won again in the 2012 London Olympics fighting as a Lightweight. Rigondeaux won the gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, then again in the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he won both times in the Bantamweight division. On top of the gold medals, both fighters were great amateur boxers having won a combined total of over 850 matches. The achievements of these two boxers are endless.
To say the Lomachenko-Rigondeaux staredown was tense is an understatement. pic.twitter.com/CUP5XsoMjW
— ESPN (@espn) December 8, 2017
The Ring Magazine ranks Lomachenko #3 and Rigondeaux #4 in their Pound-For-Pound best boxer ratings making this fight one of the best on paper in years. Both fighters have climbed up the rankings due to the way they entertain in the ring but in the end get the job done and win their fights. Rigondeaux’s last fight was found a no-contest due to a first-round knockout of his opponent Moises Flores being overturned because of the punch being thrown after the bell. The no-contest didn’t have any impact on his overall rankings, as it was believed that if the fight had kept going, Rigondeaux would have beat a mandatory challenger for his belt in due time anyway. Lomachenko’s last fight was like his previous two matches – a win by his opponent not coming back out to fight, this time his opponent Miguel Marriaga’s corner put an end to it as the pummeling led by body shots was too much.
Lomachenko and Rigondeaux are two of the most technical boxers in the sport today. Rigondeaux is a defensive genius who refuses to get hit. Along with his counterpunching capabilities, Rigondeaux makes it tough for any opponent to have a good day in the ring. Whereas Lomachenko is the type of boxer who will come out of the gate at a rate that overwhelms his opponents. Not only does Lomachenko overwhelm but he puts a beating on them and wears his opponents down with vicious shots to the body. It will be interesting to see how Rigondeaux reacts to getting hit by what will be the hardest punching opponent to date.
This fight will be a chess match between two of the more intelligent boxers in the game today. Will Lomachenko be able to keep his crazy pace against of the best defensive boxers in the sport today? Can Rigondeaux counter Lomachenko’s quick pace and dictate the fight with his near-flawless defense? These are just a couple questions I have that I look forward to seeing answered by the fighters on Saturday evening.
Bottom line is that this is a boxing match between 2 of the most decorated fighters in the sport’s history. This is a never-before-seen match between 2 two-time Olympic gold medal winners, 2 of the best amateur fighters boxings history and 2 of the best Pound-for-Pound best boxers today. The idea alone of having these fighters face each other is a gift, but it’s actually happening and this is the cherry on top of what has been a great year in boxing.