Lomachenko agrees to weight check for Rigondeaux fight
By Chris Williams: In a sign of how badly he wanted the fight, WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs) agreed to a same day weight check for his December 9th fight against unbeaten 2-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) for their fight on ESPN and ESPN Deportes from Madison Square Garden in New York.
The Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux fight has a start time at 9:00 p.m. ET.
This will be the fourth defense for Lomachenko of his WBO World super featherweight title. Lomachenko’s previous successful title defenses have come against Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa and Nicholas Walters. Rigondeaux will try and end Lomachenko’s reign as the WBO 130 lb. champion on December 9.
Both fighters cannot go above 138 pounds by 9:00 a.m. the day of the fight on December 9th, according to Dan Rafael. That’s good news for Rigondeaux, because it will limit somewhat the amount of weight that Lomachenko will be able to gain after the weigh-in on December 8. However, it still won’t stop Lomachenko, 29, from ballooning up in weight after he makes the weigh check the day of the fight.
If Lomachenko can still rehydrate to the mid-140s, it’s going to be tough on the 37-year-old Rigondeaux, as his weight is usually in the 122 to 126 pound range. Either way, Lomachenko is going to have a tremendous weight advantage over Rigondeaux when the two fighters square off inside the ring on December 9.
If either fighter comes in over the 138 lb. weight limit, they will be hit with a fine of which is being kept a secret. According to Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti, the fine is more than $10,000. That sounds like a lot, but it’s nothing if it means that one of the fighters can gain an advantage and win with the weight. Yeah, it’s a negative for a fighter to get hit with a penalty, but if it means that they can win by using extra weight, then it’s a benefit to their career.
The casual boxing fans won’t be aware of the fighter coming in over the weight limit for the weight check on the day of the fight. That stuff won’t be discussed. The only thing the boxing fans will see is the smaller fighter likely getting beaten, Since Rigondeaux is the smaller guy, it’s going to be difficult for him to deal with the much heavier Lomachenko on the night of the fight.
“Rigondeaux’s team broached the subject when we were negotiating the fight, so we went to Lomachenko and [manager] Egis [Klimas] with it,” Moretti said to Rafael at ESPN.com. “Lomachenko and Egis said they had no problem with it, so it’s in the contract. Size is not what will determine the outcome of this fight,” said Moretti.
Well, I if Lomachenko ends up 10 to 20 pounds heavier than Rigondeaux on the night of the fight, then you can make a strong argument that size will have a lot to do with the outcome of the fight. For guys this small, having a weight advantage like this is a real benefit to them. Rigondeaux is going to need to be able to pick Lomachenko off with his accurate laser-like punches the same way he did in his fights against Moises Flores, Drian Francisco and Roberto Marroquin. Those guys looked huge inside the ring compared to Rigondeaux.
Marroquin, 5’8”, was especially huge on the night of his fight with the 5’4” Rigondeaux in 2012. Rigondeaux won a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision, but it was a more difficult than the final scores would indicate. That fight took place in the super bantamweight division. Marroquin is now competing in the super featherweight division like Lomachenko.
It should be interesting to find out how much Lomachenko weighs in comparison to Rigondeaux on the night of the fight. It’s unknown if ESPN will have the two fighters weighed before they fight the way that HBO does. If not, then the boxing fans won’t be able to know what the weight difference is between the two fighters on the night of the fight. They will be able to tell the size difference between Rigondeaux and Lomachenko.