The Big Question: Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux - who wins?

Boxing Monthly
05/12/2017 2:35pm

Boxing Monthly online's pound-for-pound number two and number six fighters - Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux - square off this Saturday night in an intriguing showdown. We asked the Boxing Monthly online team which man they think will prevail plus reveal the results of our Twitter poll on the fight outcome...

This is a very intriguing match-up in my opinion. Both combatants are incredibly skilled and belong in the elite level above all fellow champions around their weight classes. In my opinion it's the best match-up in terms of two prime skilled boxers since Jones Jr vs Toney (although Rigo's inactivity & age may prove a decisive factor). I think the first 5-6 rounds of the fight will be extremely cautious, with both using their feints and angles to try and create traps for each other. The mutual respect between the pair will keep both of them honest. I can see Rigondeaux dictating a slow tempo early on but eventually Lomachenko's youth, work-rate, set up shots and angles will eventually catch Rigo out. I feel as though the Cuban's shaky chin (he was dropped twice against Amagasa & once against Donaire, for example) could be a huge factor in the bout. I am swaying toward a late stoppage in favour of the larger Lomachenko. Whatever the result, it's a great fight and both these double Olympic champions deserve huge respect for getting it on - especially Rigo who has moved up in weight. - Daniel Morley

Very tough call this one! It has the potential to be a classic if both fighters decide to trade a few shots and put it all on the line. On the other hand, if it turns a into a chess match, we could be looking at a 12-round snore fest. Historically, Rigo is more likely to sit on his back foot and look for counters, whilst Loma goes hunting his Cuban rival. If Rigo starts to realise he's losing it on the cards, it could develop nicely. Who wins? It comes down to who is the strongest mentally. Loma is naturally the heavier fighter, whereas Rigo, despite having the lighter pedigree, probably packs the heavier one-punch power. I'm going to go with Lomachenko. When he fought Nicholas Walters, he broke the tough Jamaican's heart. I'm not saying he'll achieve the same with Rigo, but the Ukrainian's performances against previous opponents, his work rate and natural size advantage points me towards saying that he wins a points victory, by 3-4 points. - Paul Zanon

Whilst I am extremely excited for the fight, I can’t help but feel that the reality might not live up to the hype. No matter how skilled Rigo is, and he is undoubtedly one of the greatest pure boxers within living memory, he is older, smaller and less active than ‘Loma’. I expect Rigo to have success in the early going due to his superlative skills, before the Ukrainian starts to find him and hurt him. I expect a late stoppage for Lomachenko. - James Oddy

It's a real pick 'em fight. I'm very excited to see two double Olympic gold medallists squaring off, who reportedly amassed nearly 900 amateur fights between them. As a big fan of Cuban boxing under the maestro Alcides Sagarra, it's great to see one of their best ever in Rigondeaux having flourished in the pro ranks (to think Rigo is 37 and won his first gold in 2000!) The only thing I ask is for Loma to cut out the bullfight bullshit...apart from that, I've already set my alarm. I'm going to go with Rigondeaux the Cubano to win! - Luca Rosi

Never before has the pure art of boxing been more represented and anticipated for a match, than between these two boxers. Both double-Olympic Gold medallists, both with such insane amateur-career stats and accolades to their names it's enough to make you wonder what more you could ask for... and yet there's a feeling in the air that this bout could almost be TOO technical, TOO full of mastery, and actually fall short of expectation. While trying to weigh up who is the better boxer and has the best chance of victory, I always come back to an old adage: "A good big'un always beats a good little'un". It's Lomachenko who has the edge in size, as well as youth and activity: so let's assume he wins a competitive and close points decision. Rigondeaux will have his moments, and afterwards his reputation will not have suffered due to the kudos he gets in jumping-up two weight divisions to make the match happen. - Colin Harris

Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux is an interesting, if not entirely inspiring, matchup. As good as Lomachencko is, he is not unbeatable. But that won't matter against Rigondeaux. They say a good big man will always beat a good small man, and while it’s not quite as definitive as that, I do believe that the Ukrainian phenom’s size will be a factor in this battle of the southpaws. At eight years younger, two inches taller and naturally two weight divisions heavier, all the signs points to a victory for ‘Hi-Tech’. Look for ‘The Jackal’ to be competitive in the early rounds before Lomachenko takes over in the fifth and stops Rigondeaux in the eighth. Size matters. - Anthony Cocks

Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux is the purist's dream - two undefeated boxers with almost unparalleled amateur pedigree meeting in the pro ranks. While Rigo has been the one chasing Lomachenko, I think the Ukrainian needs this fight just as much as his Cuban opponent. While Lomachenko is the form fighter going into this, his opposition of late has been underwhelming and the unbeaten P4P contender Rigondeaux is exactly what Lomachenko needs to establish his spot near the top of the sport. As mentioned before, Rigondeaux publicly chased this fight, as at 37 years of age he searches for opportunities to add some depth to a career that promised so much after dominating Nonito Donaire back in 2013. Since then ‘Rigo’ has trod water beating the likes of Joseph Agbeko, Hisashi Amagasa and our very own Jazza Dickens. I expect Lomachenko to go into this very confident and look to walk the Cuban down although he may have to alter his tactics after tasting Rigondeaux’s underrated power. Overall I think Lomachenko will be too big, young and fresh for the rusty 37 year old Rigondeaux and will triumph via unanimous decision. - Callum Rudge

I'm very much looking forward to this fight - even the fact that Teddy Atlas will inevitably make the broadcast solely about himself hasn't dampened my enthusiasm just yet. There is, of course, the distinct possibility that the styles won't gel and we could be in for a snoozer. I can also understand why people are put off this fight because of the size disparity between the two men, but neither relies on this attribute so I don't think it will play a huge part in deciding the victor. If Lomachenko takes the lead and tries to initiate the action then I think Rigondeaux will find it difficult to keep up with the younger and fresher man and I don't think his power will carry up with him. After a brave and courageous effort from the Cuban I see Lomachenko prevailing via eighth or ninth-round stoppage. - Marcus Bellinger

Final count: Lomachenko 7 Rigondeaux 1

Readers' Twitter poll:
Lomachenko on points 44%
Rigondeaux on points 13%
Lomachenko by KO 36%
Rigondeaux by KO 7%
TOTAL Lomachenko 80%, Rigondeaux 20%
(197 votes)