Wednesday, 06 December 2017 22:55

Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux forecasts: Arum and Atlas chime in

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So who will win this month's superfight between powerbrokers Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux on Saturday?

Fight trainer and ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas loves the match-up but has a clear choice.

"I know Rigo's not scintillating or anything like that, but I would love to see him match all those skills with a guy who's also very skillful in Lomachenko," Atlas told before Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux was officially announced.

"Rigo is a great counter puncher, a great body puncher, a great defensive fighter...I know he doesn't fight enough, and no one knows how old he really is, but to me it's the most interesting match-up you could make for either fighter at this time."

Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux prediction
Despite Teddy's high praise for Rigondeaux, he's likes the Ukrainian’s speed advantage, youth, recent ring activity and, of course, his size.

"The other thing is the age. I think if this fight would’ve happened five years earlier, maybe it would’ve boded better for Rigondeaux. The age and the inactivity and then the size, moving up in weight, I think that’s a little bit of an advantage for Lomachenko."

“One of the things that bodes well for Lomachenko is he has been more active,” Atlas told

“Rigondeaux has not been active at all and I think that has to weigh into your thinking, at least it does for me, when you’re handicapping such an interesting match of top talents."

“I think it’s a chess match,” Atlas said.

"I like Lomachenko."

Some assert the bout might be compromised because Rigondeaux is moving up two weight classes (8 pounds). And while 8 pounds might not seem like a lot, it's considerable weight for a 126-pound fighter.

“A lot of the time size would not be an advantage when one fighter is so much smarter, so much more qualified and developed in the areas where Rigondeaux is qualified and developed. But in this case, he’s meeting another guy who is just as qualified and developed in those areas. And he’s bigger, so I think it’ll probably be a unanimous-decision win for Lomachenko.

We will assume he likes Vasyl via a comfortable, but not lopsided, unanimous decision. 

(UD 12 Lomachenko?)

The curse strikes?
Over the years, Teddy's big fight predictions, while offering insightful and accurate analyses, have been highly inaccurate. 

Remember when he so adamantly predicted Manny Pacquiao would defeat Floyd Mayweather? To his credit, he correctly predicted Andre Ward would defeat Sergey Kovalev in their first match in 2016.

Here are error selections made by Atlas:
Margarito over Pacquiao
Cotto over Margarito in their first meeting
De la Hoya over Mayweather
Mosley over Cotto
Tony Thompson over Wlad Klitschko
Ricardo Mayorga over Oscar DLH
Mikkel Kessler over Joe Calzaghe
Margarito over Shane Mosley
Jermain Taylor over Kelly Pavlik
De la Hoya over Pacquiao
Pavlik over Bernard Hopkins
Roy Jones Jr. over Joe Calzaghe
Zab Judah over Floyd Mayweather
Juan Diaz over Juan Manuel Marquez in their first meeting
Zab Judah over Miguel Cotto
Sultan Ibragimov over Wlad Klitschko
David Haye over Wlad Klitschko
Manny Pacquiao over Tim Bradley in their first meeting, and
Tim Bradley over Manny Pacquiao in their second meeting


Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux (stories)
December 9, 2017
Madison Square Garden
New York City
Broadcast: ESPN
Division: Super featherweight
Title: WBO (Lomachenko defending)


Iconic fight promoter Bob Arum, who used to promote Rigo and now provides his services to Loma, recently shared his prediction for the big showdown.

“I look for Lomachenko to knock Rigondeaux out or stop him or make him quit [by the] ninth, 10th round, something like that,” Arum said via the podcast, “Walking the Floor.”

“Rigondeaux’s a tremendous fighter, but Lomachenko’s the best fighter I’ve seen.”

Insisting Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux will resemble the former's domination of Nicholas Walters in November 2016, Arum believes.

Arum also insists Vasyl, with his size advantage and abundance of skills, will force Rigo to fight instead of safely and cautiously boxing and piling up points.

"I think this is gonna be a very, very good fight, a very interesting fight, because Rigondeaux is not gonna be able to get out, with a big lead on points, on Vasyl."

Sure, Arum promotes Lomachenko so he's going to pick him. However, his predicting a Lomachenko knockout against such a superb defensive fighter suggests he really does believe in Vasyl.

Lomachenko by KO in 9 or 10


Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux: The Tactical Overview

Leroy Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.