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Rigondeaux tells Arum: Terence Crawford is the best fighter you’ve got

By Chris Williams: Super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux took a shot at his opponent Vasyl Lomachenko today in their final press conference by telling his promoter Bob Arum that the best fighter he has in his Top Rank stable is former light welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford. Arum, not missing a beat, asked Rigondeaux if he wants to fight him next.

”That’s the best boxer you have,” said Rigondeaux to Arum in talking about Crawford.

Arum then said, ”Want to fight him?”

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Arum were serious about wanting Rigondeaux to fight Crawford. We already saw Crawford fight former featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa 3 years ago. Gamboa moved up 2 divisions to fight Crawford at lightweight. Arum is having problems trying to turn Crawford into a pay-per-view attraction for his Top Rank stable. Part of what is holding Crawford back is the poor match-making that’s been done for him. He’s not being put in with the more popular fighters from the 140 and 147 lb. division, so it’s slowed his progress in becoming a big name.

Lomachenko is probably the second-best fighter in Arum’s stable after Crawford. For many years Arum’s best fighter was Manny Pacquiao, but he’s now over-the-hill. However, despite Pacquiao being past it, he’s still Arum’s only big money maker. The problem is Arum isn’t putting Pacquiao in with popular fighters anymore. He’s basically wasting him. Lomachenko is never going to have the popularity that Pacquiao has.

Lomachenko is in the wrong division, and he’s wasting his career by dragging his feet about moving up to lightweight. Lomachenko won’t start making good money unless he moves up to light welterweight, and I don’t think he’s ever going to do that. Lomachenko is making a big deal about simply moving up to 135. If it’s such an ordeal for Lomachenko to move up to lightweight, he’s not going to move up to light welterweight in time for him to have a fighting chance to be successful in that weight class.

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Lomachenko probably will never be Arum’s best fighter in his Top Rank stable. Lomachenko is limited by his inability to take career risks. He’s too conservative with his risk taking. Lomachenko should have moved up in weight to fight Mikey Garcia 2 years ago. Moreover, it took Lomachenko 2 years to finally accept a fight against Rigondeaux. Even then, Lomachenko made sure that the advantages were tilted in his favor by not meeting Rigondeaux halfway at 126 instead of having him move all the way up to 130 to take the fight. Rigondeaux fights in the 122-lb. division at super bantamweight.

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