Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux: The Present and The Future

Xavier Porter –

November 27, 2017

Brooklyn, NY –

“You got the body now you want my soul. Don’t even think about: SAY NO GO.” – Daryl Hall & John Oates

On Saturday, December 9, live on ESPN, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, the long-awaited battle between two of the most accomplished boxers in Olympic boxing will finally take place in a professional setting. Top-rated pound-for-pound fighters and Olympic legends VASILY “Hi-Tech” LOMACHENKO (9-1, 7 KOs) and GUILLERMO “El Chacal” RIGONDEAUX (17-0, 1 NC, 11 KOs) will face one another in what’s expected to be a “game of chess” and “battle of smarts.” Both men are highly skilled and have pretty much dominated each opponent they’ve faced thus far in their respective careers. Often compared due to similarities in style and boxing ability, both men have paralleled one another throughout their amateur and professional career. What’s at stake for this matchup is not only the WBO Super Featherweight Championship title, but also the namesake as to “Who’s the best southpaw boxer in today’s sport.”

For Rigondeaux, his list of accomplishments stretches a mile long, and then some. Born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba and fighting out of Miami, FL, “The Jackal” aka “El Chacal” is a seven-time Cuban National Champion (2000-2006). He’s also won three gold medals at the IBA (International Boxing Association) World Cup Boxing tournament (2002, 2005, 2006); two gold medals at the AIBA World Boxing Championships (2001, 2005); and Olympic gold (2000, 2004).

Since turning professional, Rigondeaux has continued to dominate, winning the WBA (Super), WBO, and IBO Bantamweight title. He has held the Lineal Super Bantamweight titles since 2013 and currently is ranked at number two in the world between as the boxer in his division (118lb-122lb division). At 5’4 and at thirty-seven years of age, Rigondeaux is now stepping up in weight to fight his arch nemesis, Lomachenko, a younger (29) and taller opponent (5’6), a bigger mirror image of himself.

For Lomachenko, born in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine and now fighting out of Oxanard, CA, he will be defending his championship title against who many believe to be the best and most skilled opponent he’s faced within his entire boxing career. The current WBO Super Featherweight Champion brings to the table his own charismatic fighting style, so to speak.

With an amateur record of (396-1), having won gold medals in both the AIBA World Boxing Championships (2009, 2011) and Olympics (2008, 2012), the Ukranian-born Lomachenko has been on a tear, dominating each opponent, since his first professional loss to then WBO Super Featherweight Champion Orlando Salido.

Both Rigondeaux and Lomachenko rank high on every boxing fan and boxing journalist’s list as being the best “Pound-for-Pound” fighters in the sport. It’s a ranking that is rightfully worthy for both men as both southpaw boxers have highlight reels of sensational knockouts, which displays their respective precise, accurate punching, and a calculated technique. They are undeniably two of the most skilled fighters in the history of the sport.

December 9, 2017 – The Theater at Madison Square Garden


Vasyl Lomachenko, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine (9-1, 7 KOs) vs Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miami, Florida (17-0, 1 NC, 11 KOs)

The time has come, the time is here, and now both men will meet in the squared circle. The focus of this writer and this fight will be on the difference in age and height, a natural composite of both men. Rightfully so, both men have showcased supreme boxing ability against their respective opponents. This historic battle will mark the first-time two-time Olympic gold medalists have fought each other professionally at the highest level. Lomachenko will be defending his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight world title against the reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) super bantamweight champion Rigondeaux.

“It will be a big battle for boxing fans and boxing history,” said Lomachenko.

“This battle will open our maximum potential. It will be the best New Year’s present for boxing fanatics. Trust me on this one!”

“I’m thrilled to be part of this historic fight on ESPN because I’ve had my eye on fighting Vasyl Lomachenko for a long time,” said Rigondeaux.

“I’m thankful that Roc Nation Sports and Top Rank made this fight happen and I can’t wait to make a statement on December 9 in New York City. Weight classes don’t win fights – fighters do – and I look forward to delivering the best performance of my career, beating a fellow legendary Olympian in Lomachenko and solidifying my place as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of this era.”

“This is the Big Apple’s second-hottest ticket on the secondary market next to Bette Midler’s Broadway smash, Hello Dolly!” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, founder and CEO of Top Rank.

“It is a historic bout for boxing where for the first time, two boxers, two world champions, each holding two Olympic Gold medals, will meet in the professional ring. I am looking forward to seeing it. The Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux title fight is a signature event in the sport of boxing. It matches the two greatest fighters in Olympic boxing facing off against each other. Never in boxing’s history have two boxers, each the winner of two Olympic gold medals, faced each other in a professional boxing match. ESPN is excited to showcase this world championship event and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the event to boxing fans across our platforms in English and Spanish.”

The fight, which will headline a spectacular all-action card, televised live and exclusively at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and streamed live on the ESPN App. Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Roc Nation Sports and Madison Square Garden, tickets to the Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux world championship event sold out two months in advance!

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