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Lomachenko: I would destroy Rigondeaux

Guillermo Rigondeaux Vasyl Lomachenko

By Chris Williams: Super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko says he doesn’t need to fight 122-pound champion Guillermo Rigondeaux. Lomachenko wants the boxing fans to know right up front that he DOES NOT need to fight the undefeated former 2-time Olympic gold medalist Rigondeaux. But if a fight between the two former Olympic gold medalists take place, Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs) says he would destroy Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs).

Rigondeaux, 36, wants the fight with Lomachenko, but it doesn’t appear that the feelings are mutual from the Ukrainian. His promoters at Top Rank are busy putting him in with guys like the recently beaten Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, Nicholas Walters and Roman Martinez.

Lomachenko feels that he doesn’t need Rigondeaux. Some boxing would see this as a sign that Lomachenko is afraid to get beaten again. He’s already been defeated once by Orlando Salido, and he’s done nothing to avenge that loss. If Rigondeaux beats Lomachenko too, then he would be just another one of the many fighters that have failed against the Cuban star.

“First of all let me tell you, I am not asking to fight him,” said Lomachenko to Fighthub. ”I don’t need him; he is asking to fight me. He wants, but he has to understand if he’s going to step in the ring I’m going to destroy him just like a tank.”

Lomachenko is a lot slower than Rigondeaux, and he’s come up short once against Salido. I don’t think Lomachenko can really talk about what he would do or not do against Rigondeaux. History speaks for itself. Lomachenko lost to Salido after spending the entire fight holding him to keep from getting hit with body shots.

The rest of the guys Lomachenko has fought since then have been lesser fighters. He hasn’t beaten anyone in Salido’s class. Roman Martinez fought Salido twice and he appeared to lose both fights. Martinez was given a 12-round decision victory over Salido in their first fight, which took place in Puerto Rico. In the second fight, the judges scored it a draw. I thought Salido easily won both fights.

“Personally, I would like to fight Mikey Garcia, as well; I support what the fans want,” said Lomachenko. ”Fans [are] talking a lot about my bout and Rigondeaux bout. I would love to fight him if it’s somehow possibility we can make that fight.“

Mikey Garcia has already recommended that Lomachenko stop talking and make a move already with his career by going up to lightweight and start fighting guys from that division. Mikey wants to see some effort on Lomachenko’s part to show that he’s serious about fighting him. Unfortunately, Lomachenko is still at super featherweight, and he’s now fighting someone that was just beaten in his last fight in Miguel Marriana. Just why Lomachenko would bother fighting Marriaga instead of Rigondeaux is unclear.

Marriaga lost his last fight to Top Rank fighter Oscar Valdez by a 2 round unanimous decision on April 22. The scores were not close in that fight. Valdez beat Marriaga by the scores 119-108, 118-108 and 116-111. So, Lomachenko is fighting a guy that was totally dominated by Valdez in his last fight. It doesn’t make sense for Lomachenko to fight Valdez’s leftovers when there someone talented like Rigondeaux is waiting to fight him.

If Lomachenko is serious about wanting to move up to lightweight to fight Mikey Garcia, then he should have done that already rather than wasting his career fighting guys that were just beaten like Marriaga. I’m not sure if Lomachenko has any say so in the match-making for his boxing career. If his promoter Bob Arum is calling all the shots in deciding who he faces and who he doesn’t face, then I can understand why Lomachenko would be fighting Marriaga rather than Rigondeaux.

For the boxing fans that don’t remember, Rigondeaux was at one time one of the Top Rank fighters. He fought a big star in Arum’s Top Rank stable in Nonito Donaire in 2013, and he easily beaten the Filipino star. The defeat by Donaire pretty sank his star. The loss didn’t end Donaire’s career, but it ended him being seen as a huge star.

Given the job that Rigondeaux did on Donaire, it’s not surprising that Rigondeaux isn’t being given a fight against Lomachenko. Can you imagine what would happen if Lomachenko was exposed by Rigondeaux too? I don’t know what Top Rank would be able to do with Lomachenko if he lost to Rigondeaux? The hardcore boxing fans would never forget Lomachenko losing.

Maybe the casual boxing fans wouldn’t have a clue, but I don’t think Lomachenko is ever going to be a big star with the casual fans because he’s in the wrong division. The super featherweight division is not a popular one in boxing. Lomachenko would have to move up to at least light welterweight for him to gain a large fan base. There’s no one for him to fight at super featherweight and lightweight other than Rigondeaux and Mikey Garcia. Even those guys aren’t considered big names.

“Most of the opponents they say I wanted to fight Lomachenko just because they want their name to be somewhere, because his name is followed a lot. So some other way just making, advertising their selves with his name,” said Lomachenko’s manager Egis Klimas to Fighthub. “Second, then they say we want to fight. And if our matchmakers, or whatever we’re organizing, calling and saying would you like to fight Lomachenko and they say ‘Yes, sure, we will fight. Give us a million dollars or two million dollars.’ So that’s what’s holding them out of the fight.”

Rigondeaux is not someone that is just saying that he wants to fight Lomachenko to get his name heard or mentioned from the boxing media. Rigondeaux appears to really want that fight. He says he’s willing to move up to super featherweight to make the fight happen. Rigondeaux has called Lomachenko’s bluff by agreeing to come up 2 divisions to make the fight after failing to get him to agree to meet him at 126. I don’t think Rigondeaux is mentioning Lomachenko’s just so he can name drop him.

Rigondeaux appears to want the fight. He probably believes he can turn Lomachenko into another Moises “Chucky” Flores if he can get him inside the ring. Lomachenko and Flores both have about the same hand speed. Lomachenko isn’t faster than Flores, and we just saw what Rigondeaux did to him. It wasn’t even competitive.

It’ll be disappointing if Lomachenko wastes his career by not taking on the best fighters. Lomachenko should have made the fight with Rigondeaux a long time ago instead of wasting time with Miguel Marriaga, Roman Martinez, Jason Sosa, Nicholas Walters and Romula Koasicha.


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