Two of the all time great amateurs in boxing and double Olympic gold medallists Vasyl Lomachenko & Guillermo Rigondeaux finaly meet in the ring.
So, before I preview the fight of the year for the boxing purists, let’s have a look at the stats so everyone has a clear idea of just how good these two fighters are –
Pro Record: 9-1 (7 ko’s), Two weight world champion – Featherweight & Super-featherweight
Amateur Record: 396 – 1
Pro Record: 17-0 (11 ko’s), Super-bantamweight world champion
Amateur Record: 463 – 12
This Saturday in Madison Square Garden, New York, two of the pound for pound elite finally do battle in what can truly be classed as a potential ‘Fight of the year’. Im not expecting this to be the best all-action fight of the year, but I think in terms of skill, technique and ring-craft, you wont see two better fighters than Loma & Rigo.
In only 10 pro fights, Loma has looked untouchable. Already he’s a two weight world champion and since moving up to super-featherweight he’s stopped – Rocky Martinez, Nicholas Walters, Jason Sosa & Miguel Marriaga and looked like he’s hardly broke a sweat in the process. So make no mistake, Loma deserves his spot in the pound for pound rankings and looks like he has more to come with better quality opposition.
Rigo has been billed as ‘boring’ or not a ‘tv fighter’ which I think is unfair of the Cuban master. He’s been stuck in a division where he’s been head and shoulders above the rest and hasn’t had to go to another level to get the win. He’s possibly the most avoided fighter in the sport and at 37 he knows that time is running out on major fights, so I can see why he decided to jump two weight’s to challenge Loma.
Loma will have an advantage in a few key areas – height, weight, and most importantly activity. This will be his third fight this year where Rigo is having his third fight in 2 years. So im expecting Loma to be slightly sharper, especially early on.
In terms of speed and movement, there’s nothing to separate them and Rigo might just have the edge in one punch power. So, im expecting him to be calculated but eventually I think he will be the one chasing down Lomachenko and letting his hands go, as I just can’t see Rigo winning a points decision. I think Rigo’s best chance will be to stop the Ukrainian, a tall order considering the jump in weight.
For Lomachenko, there’s not a whole lot to change with his game-plan, he will use his excellent movement and footwork to tee up his trademark combinations and body-shots. I think he will start to use his youth, speed and natural weight advantage as the fight progresses as he lands more frequently. I think it will eventually be too much for Rigo and I wouldn’t be surprised if his corner pulled him out between rounds.
Im expecting Loma to go out and make a real statement here and leave nothing to chance as he looks to show the world who the new pound for pound king is –
Lomachenko wins by ko/tko – rounds 9-12