Thursday, 21 September 2017 20:55

Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux: Preview, prediction

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Get excited.

Boxing in 2017 just got even better. We have already seen the war between Canelo and Golovkin, Joshua KO Klitschko, Terence Crawford unify the 140 lb. division and the fall of Chocolatito.

And now we can look forward to Wilder vs Ortiz and Vasyl Lomachenko vs Guillermo Rigondeaux in a battle between two top pound-for-pound fighters and two of the greatest amateur boxers of all time.

At stake will be the WBO 130 lb title and, perhaps, the mythical pound-for-pound title

Who are you picking?

... Let's see how they stack up.

Vasyl "Hi-Tech" Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KO), the current WBO junior lightweight champ and the former WBO featherweight champ, took a very aggressive approach to his professional career. After a scintillating 396-1 record in the unpaid ranks, he challenged for a world title in his second pro fight. And in the only loss of his career to date, Lomachenko was out-muscled by savvy veteran experienced by Orlando Salido. However, Lomachenko learned his lessons well and arguably hasn't lost a round since.

He has won all eight of his subsequent fights, earning six stoppages against some world-class opposition and making it look easy. In fact, he's made elite opponents like Nicholas Walters and Gary Russell Jr. look like C level fighters.

Lomachenko is like a southpaw Rubix Cube. He is a master tactician albeit very unorthodox. He attacks from unique angles and does things often not seen in the ring. He is also very hard to hit with a clean shot, the few times he actually gets touched.

While not having that one shot knockout power, Vasyl has enough pop to get his man out of there when he puts his shots together. Aside from Salido, who is intentionally pricing himself out of a rematch, Lomachenko has never been competitive fight, but many think that will soon change.

Guillermo "El Chacal" Rigondeaux (17-0-1 11 KO) is a complete enigma in the boxing world. Another product of the celebrated Cuban National team, Rigondeaux is smooth and slippery boxer with sublime technique, underrated power and a pretty good resume'. However, he doesn't have the fanbase he deserves due to his reputation for being boring. And even hardcore fans who acknowledge his technique admit that he is not a fun fighter to watch.

After beating Nonito Donaire Rigondeaux several years ago, Rigo should have become a household name. He made a fighter who was ranked as high as number three on most pound-for-pound charts and made him look amateur. Outside of the knock down he suffered in the 11th round, Rigondeaux controlled the entire fight even stunning Donaire multiple times in the fight. But a fighter must not only win, he must dazzle to satisfy the fans and networks.

Exciting to fans or not, Guillermo Rigondeaux fight is one of the greatest technicians of this era. He is a smooth, technical counter puncher with precise timing and footwork who is never off-balance or out of position. He never wastes a punch, waiting for the optimal time to strike. And therein lies the one knock on his style. Sometimes he can wait too long.

Against a cautious opponent, his fights are usually very dull because both guys wait for the other to lead. However, given the right opponent, Rigo can come out of his shell.

With Lomachenko, Rigondeaux faces an opponent who can match his technical savvy in the ring. It will be interesting to see how the Cuban approaches this matchup. At 36 years old, Rigondeaux may not have many years left to leave his mark on the boxing world so he must make the most of this opportunity.

Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux prediction

Many boxing fans have asked for this fight for quite a while and come December our patience will be rewarded. However, do not expect a war of attrition or a bloodbath from this fight. It's going to be a tactical chess match.

While both men are elite boxers, they go about their trade in different ways. Lomachenko doesn't just beat an opponent, he demoralizes them with his awesome footwork, his angles and his showboating.

Rigondeaux is more of a prototypical defense first technician, staying in the pocket for the most part and looking for opportunities to counter punch while remaining an elusive target.

Prediction: Vasyl Lomachenko by unanimous decision.

What's your Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux prediction and why?

DeMarkus Jones

My name is DeMarkus Jones and I am an amatuer boxer, trained in MuayThai and a 3rd degree black belt in Karate. I am a combat sports enthusiast and historian residing in Houston, Texas. If I'm not watching boxing or reading about boxing, I am probably in the gym myself.