Rigondeaux: I’ll see what Lomachenko is made of on Dec.9
By Chris Williams: With three days to go before this Saturday’s huge match-up, Guillermo ‘The Jackal’ Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) says he’s ready to find out what 2-time Olympic medalist Vasyl ‘Hi-Tech’ Lomachenko has got.
The Cuban star laughs at the remarks coming from Lomanchenko about how he’s going to knock him out. Rigondeaux says he wants Lomachenko to prove it inside the ring, because he’s going to be making the Ukrainian pay the price for every punch he throws.
This is going to be the first time Rigondeaux has fought in the 130 lb. weight class. In looking at his recent workouts, he looks like he’s put on mass while retaining his cat-like reflexes. That’s bad news for Lomachenko, because without his size advantage, his ship is going to be sunk against Rigondeaux. The size is the only thing Lomachenko has going for him against Rigondeaux.
Lomachenko-Rigondeaux will be televised this Saturday on ESPN at 9pm ET/6pm PT. The viewing audience for the Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux card might not be as large as originally believed due to the competition the fight will received from the Orlando Salido vs. Mickey Roman match that will be taking place on HBO. The Salido-Roman telecast on HBO will be starting at 10pm ET. The two fight cards are going to run against each other. Salido is pretty popular from his many fights over the years. It’s going to be hard for Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux to compete for the casual boxing fans with the Salido-Roman fight in the U.S.
Rigondeaux feels he’s the better talent than Lomachenko, and he’s not intimidated by his size. Rigondeaux says he’s moving up 2 weight classes to fight Lomachenko because no one from the super bantamweight division will fight him. They too scared.
It’s taken this long for Rigondeaux to get Lomachenko to fight him. He wanted to fight Lomachenko years ago, but he couldn’t get him to agree to the fight until now.
“I was born a champion. I’m a talent. He just has desire. Wait until I knock him upside the head and we’ll see what he’s got,” said Rigondeaux to the undefeated.com. “People think I’m crazy because I took on this fight. I moved up two weight classes because nobody in my weight class wants to fight me. I guess I can’t blame them,” said Rigondeaux.
Lomachenko doesn’t possess the built in hand speed, reflexes or athleticism that Rigondeaux was born with, and he’ll never possess it. If Lomachenko didn’t have it when he was in his early 20s, he’s not going to acquire those physical gifts now that he’s on the verge of turning 30-year-old on February 17. It’s safe to say Lomachenko is as good as he’ll ever be. He might not even be as good as he was before he turned pro when he was fighting in the Olympics in 2008 and 2012. Lomachenko won gold medals in those Olympics. Rigondeaux captured his gold medals in the 2000 and 2004. Rigondeaux also captured 7 Cuban national championships, which aren’t easy to win. Becoming a national champion in Cuba is like winning a gold medal in the Olympics due to how talented the Cuban amateur team is.
“People who say that [my style is boring] have never stepped foot in a ring before and have never taken a shot in the head,” said Rigondeuax. ”Boxing is an art form. Hit your opponent and make sure they don’t hit you. That’s what boxing is supposed to be.”
For boxing fans who say Rigondeaux doesn’t have an exciting style, they need to look at Lomachenko. He’s a pure boxer, who throws weak shots and takes off running when his opponents attack him with meaningful punches. Lomachenko moves more than Rigondeaux because he doesn’t have his ability to stand in the pocket and get out of the way of shots the way he does.
If Rigondeaux can beat Lomachenko, he’ll vault himself to the top of the sport in terms of hardcore boxing fans. Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux is the fight for the No.1 in boxing in the eyes many boxing fans.
”He [Lomachenko] says he’s going to kick my a–. I just laugh that off,” said Rigondeaux. ”Does he think he has four hands? He has two just like me. He’s a two-time Olympic gold medalist? Great! So am I. We’ll see what he’s really made of on Dec. 9th.”
Lomachenko’s promoter Bob Arum keeps comparing him to Muhammad Ali. In the past, Arum was almost as high on Nonito Donaire, singing his praises, telling the boxing fans how good he was. After Donaire was easily beaten by Rigondeaux in 2013, he became an almost invisible man. If Rigondeaux does it again to one of Arum’s stars, it’s going to be major blow to the Top Rank promoter. Arum doesn’t have anyone else in around the same weight class to put in with Rigondeaux to finally knock him down a peg. Don’t expect Arum to match Lomachenko against Rigondeaux again if he loses to him on Saturday night. Arum didn’t match Donaire back up with Rigondeaux after he lost badly to him 4 years ago. I don’t expect Arum to do any different with Lomachenko.