Purses: Lomachenko $1.2M, Rigondeaux $400K
By Chris Williams: Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs) will be getting a guaranteed purse of $1.2 million compared to $400,000 for Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) for their fight tonight on ESPN at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Lomachenko will be making 3 times the money that Rigondeaux will be getting for the fight. That’s pretty significant when you factor in that both guys are considered to be pound-for-pound stars, and world champions in their own weight classes. Even WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker figures to potentially get a better deal fighting IBf/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua than Rigondeaux is getting. The difference in the money Lomachenko getting and Rigondeaux is receiving for the fight is pretty dramatic.
Rigondeaux likely had no choice but to agree to the money offer given to him. Had Rigondeaux negotiated hard in asking for a bigger cut of the revenue, he might not have gotten the fight with Lomachenko. Top Rank is running tonight’s card on ESPN, and Lomachenko is their fighter.
Rigondeaux was released by Top Rank years ago shortly after he beat one of their top stars in Nonito Donaire in 2013. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says it wasn’t a case of pay back for him to release Rigondeaux after his win over Donaire. Arum says he couldn’t get dates for him to fight on HBO and Showtime, because the networks wouldn’t purchase his fights. What’s interesting is that HBO was willing to purchase Terence Crawford’s fights, but not Rigondeaux’s. Crawford fights lot like Rigondeaux with his counter punching style of fighting. Both fighters have a similar KO percentage with Crawford knocking out 72 percent of his opponents and Rigondeaux stopping 61 percent. So, HBO was willing to buy Crawford’s fights and not Rigondeaux’s? It doesn’t make sense. If you compare how Rigondeaux looked in his last fight against Moises Flores to how Lomachenko looked in his last 3 fights against Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa and Nicholas Walters, it’s hard not to conclude that Rigondeaux is the more exciting fighter.
“He [Rigondeaux] won his fights going away, but his style was such that he’d pile up points and then he’s stink out the audience,” said Arum in explaining to the boxing media why he released Rigondeaux from his contract with Top Rank.“The television executives said they wouldn’t give me a date [for Rigondeaux to fight on HBO]. This was before ESPN, where I make my own fights. This was the HBO/Showtime era. So, if I couldn’t get the guy on HBO, and I couldn’t get him on Showtime, what the hell was I supposed to do with him? So, I gave him a release. There was no animosity. It wasn’t my fault. It was the fault of the television executives. They told me after the fight [with Nonito Donaire] if I mentioned the name Rigondeaux again, they would throw me out the window. So, what was I supposed to do? If television isn’t going to pay me the money, and the television doesn’t want the guy, who am I going to fight? What am I going to do, punch out Peter Nelson of HBO? He’s the buyer and I’m the seller,” said Arum.
It’s too bad Rigondeaux wasn’t valued by the television executives enough for them to televise his fights. Rigondeaux is right up there with Crawford and Lomachenko in terms of putting on exciting fights. I don’t see there being much difference at all between those fighters. To me, Rigondeaux is more interesting to watch than Crawford and Lomachenko. I rate other Top Rank fighters like Oscar Valdez and Jose Ramirez as two of their most exciting fighters in their stable. Those guys are all-action guys from the word go, and yet they’re not as popular yet as Lomachenko and Crawford. As far as I can tell, Ramirez and Valdez aren’t being given the same push by Top Rank as Lomachenko and Crawford.