RIGONDEAUX AND LOMACHENKO IN TALKS
By TOM WATT on July 14 2015
It appears that despite Boxing’s somewhat earned reputation for not pitting the best against the best, two of the Sports most technically gifted fighters in Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux and Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko seem set to lock horns later this year. According to reports this morning, a catch-weight of 124lbs has been agreed in principle, with a re-hydration clause of 135 lbs insisted on by the smaller Cuban’s manager, Gary Hyde.
This fight would not only represent a fight tailor-made for the purists but would also bring together two double Olympic Gold Medalists together for the first time in a professional bout. Opinion within the Boxing fraternity is very high for both fighters and opinions are likely to be split as to how this one would end up, Lomachenko is an extraordinary fighter that can throw punches with volume and accuracy rarely seen – he also became World Champion after 3 professional bouts, although his steep rise to stardom came at the price of a loss to Orlando Salido. Rigondeaux on the other hand remains unbeaten as a pro after fifteen straight wins and ‘El Chacal’ has made his name as a master tactician and technician, impossible to pin down and often impossible to hit as we have become accustomed to seeing from Cuba’s finest exports over the years.
It was comments from Rigo’s manager, Gary Hyde that sparked talk of this fight, here is what the Irishman had to say:
“Rigondeaux will fight Lomachenko at a 124-pound catch-weight, which should be no problem for Lomachenko because he weighed 125 pounds for one of his professional fights,” said Hyde. “Rigo is a small 122-pounder who could make 118 without much trouble and he would be giving away size and weight advantages to Lomachenko.
“We would insist on a re-hydration 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 medalists 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!”
If Lomachenko agrees then attention will turn to when we could see this fight, Lomachenko has appeared on a number of Manny Pacquiao’s undercards in the past and was the undoubted highlight of the May 2nd card in Vegas with his scintillating 9th round TKO win over Gamalier Rodriguez. This fight would surely be Lomachenko’s opportunity to headline his own show and given the expected purse demands from both camps, that seems the most likely option, with Lomachenko’s Top Rank team being the most likely suitors to put on the show. However, according to Ring Magazine, Rigo may well end up being managed by Boxing supremo, Al Haymon and that could be a game-changer – Neither Lomachenko or Rigondeaux have the promotional power to draw in big PPV numbers themselves as of yet (partly due to the lower divisions not having the built-in appeal that classes like Welterweight & Heavyweight do and partly down to their pure-boxing styles) and an opportunity to fight on the Premier Boxing Champion series on free-to-air TV in America would give both fighters the kind of exposure they desperately need.
Talk of this fight has previously been pure conjecture on the part of fans who would love to see these technicians get it together but after today’s comments it seems we are closer to getting what we wished for. Rigondeaux vs Lomachenko would be a showcase of pure boxing from start to finish, there’s still a long way to go in terms of negotiations from each camp but with a catch-weight agreed it seems they are moving in the right direction and fight fans may have a contender for fight of the year in the pipeline.
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