Vasyl Lomachenko, the WBO super featherweight champion and a 2008-2012 Olympic gold medalist, will defend his belt against Guillermo Rigondeaux, a 2000 and 2004 Olympic gold medal victor, on December 9 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in NY in the main event of a card on ESPN, Top Rank president Todd duBoef told Yahoo Sports on Thursday. Lomachenko has won his last eight fights, and he's coming off a August win over Miguel Marriaga. Lomachenko hasn't missed a beat since turning pro in 2013, and his only loss was a 2014 controversial split decision to Orlando Salido.
Rigondeaux, 36, is among the best defensive fighters (and subsequently most avoided) in boxing today. Lomachenko is also a highly effective counter puncher due to his head movement and ability to slip punches. I asked for this fight and I got it!
The battle Lomachenko-Rigondeaux is the second Featherweight (up to 59 kg).
Guillermo Rigondeaux enters this fight with a 17-0 record that includes 11 knockouts. Given the Ukrainian's advantage in size and his series of early victories, it is possible that Rigondeaux is not just for the first time in his career will lose, but can't walk the full distance of the fight. Rigondeaux has boxed just one round since July of previous year and has a shot at probably the biggest win of his career. Rigondeaux has a really strong left hand and has hurt a lot of his opponents with a powerful blow to the body. This will be Rigondeaux's third fight in NY.
According to ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, this will mark the first professional fight ever between two boxers who have won a pair of Olympic gold medals. Rigo feels like he can go anywhere from 122 to 130 pounds. "He realizes Lomachenko is a tough fight, but if this is made, it is a great fight for fans and a great fight for boxing". The historic nature of the fight appealed to him. Lomachenko won his first world title in just his third pro fight and became the quickest fighter to win titles at two weight divisions when he did so in just his seventh bout. What intrigues me is that it is a legacy fight.