Do fans want to see Lomachenko-Ridgondeaux?
Published: June 28, 2017
Social media has the boxing world buzzing once again as the latest back and forth spattering between renowned boxing manager Egis Klimas and current WBA 122-pound champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) filled the timeline of boxing fans twitter accounts. Klimas’ client the virtuoso Vasyl Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs) is currently looking for an opponent for a fight this upcoming August. A fight with Lomachenko’s former conqueror Orlando Salido (44-13-4, 31 KOs) fell to the wayside. When this development was posted on social media, Rigondeaux was quick to respond with an offer to face Lomachenko.
The other champions in the 130-pound division are currently busy with other assignments. WBC champion Miguel Berchelt (31-1, 28 KOs) and WBA champion Jezreel Corrales (21-1, 8 KOs) will both be defending their titles on July 15th in a tripleheader on HBO. The IBF champion Gervonta Davis (18-0, 17 KOs) just fought in May against Liam Walsh. At just 22 years of age, Davis’ handlers are unlikely to put him in the ring with Lomachenko just yet.
Rigondeaux has had his issues getting quality opponents in the ring with him. Some of this has been self-inflicted as the Cuban has had constant battles with inactivity and promoters. The Cuban is currently 36 years old and is running out of time to get quality opponents in the ring before his skills and reflexes succumb to father time. This would explain Rigondeaux agreeing to move up two weight classes to meet Lomachenko at 130-pounds.
A bout between Lomachenko and Rigondeaux, if it were to come to fruition, is unique as both men are two-time Olympic Gold-Medalists. Both are considered to be two of the most technically sound fighters in the entire sport. The amateur records of both men are outstanding with Lomachenko standing at 396-1 and Rigondeaux at 374-12. As far as the professional experience of both men, Lomachenko has won titles in two divisions defeating former and current champions like Gary Russell Jr., Nicholas Walters, Rocky Martinez, and most recently Jason Sosa. Lomachenko’s only blemish was to Salido in his second professional bout in 2014. Rigondeaux who has been less active may have the biggest win of the two men with his victory over then pound-for-pound entrant Nonito Donaire (37-4, 24 KOs) in 2013.
While Lomachenko-Rigondeaux would certainly be a welcomed bout between two of the best in the sport, the Ukrainian would be the clear favorite. He is not only seven years younger but also the bigger man. Of the two men, Lomachenko is the more high volume attacker while Rigondeaux usually ply’s his trade from a distance with his offense on reserve at times. Stylistically the bout looks great on paper, but it may not play out that way in the ring. It is unlikely that the fight would be considered for fight of the year honors. However, it is not out of the possibility that the two men could provide an entertaining chess match. It could be similar to a James Toney-Mike McCallum or more recently Juan Manuel Marquez-Marco Antonio Barrera.
Rigondeaux’s last bout just a few weeks ago against Moises Flores (25-0, 17 KOs) was overturned to a no-contest due to an illegal blow after the bell. The desperation to get a quality opponent in the ring is at a high. If a fight is not materialized between Rigondeaux and Lomachenko, the Cuban’s next option would be WBO 122-pound champion Jessie Magdaleno (25-0). The undefeated Magdaleno called out Rigondeaux after his last fight in April. While a unification fight would be an accomplishment for the Cuban, it does not compare to a victory over Lomachenko.
The managers of both Lomachenko and Rigondeaux traded verbal insults in regards to a possibility of a fight between the two. Both made statements to boxingscene.
Rigondeaux was formerly promoted by Lomachenko’s current promoter, Top Rank. If the two sides can come up with an agreement that both men find acceptable a Lomachenko-Rigondeaux bout would be highly anticipated. Regardless, of the excitement level the fight may or may not provide, fans want to see the two men in the ring against each other.
(Feature Photos: Rich Schultz/Getty Images and Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports)