Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux: Super Man vs. Superman

By Paul Magno on December 5, 2017
Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux: Super Man vs. Superman
Saturday's fight is still so appealing, even after one understands that the deck is stacked.

It would take a superman to walk into an unlevel playing field like this against a true elite like Lomachenko and walk away with the win…

Born of a social media beef, this fight between two-time Olympic gold medalists—the first such fight in the history of the pro ranks—was put together after feuding social media accounts had left no room BUT to put it together.

Cuban master boxer, Rigondeaux, is certainly no shrinking violet when it comes to looking for challenges and accepting them when they come. But since schooling Nonito Donaire in 2013, the 122 lb. champ has found it next to impossible to get big fights against big opposition. Stars like Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton have pretty much come right out and said that they want nothing to do with the “Jackal” and even Lomachenko’s people, when their fighter was campaigning at 126, were not all that eager to look in Rigondeaux’s direction.

He’s THAT good and that dangerous. Any shiny bandwagon speeding into Rigondeaux’s domain will emerge a wobbly, dented, rickety mess. And even in defeat—if he ever does get defeated—he could make a top level opponent look like a five-fight novice.

With just the slightest of shifts in angles and positioning of the feet, Rigondeaux effortlessly outboxes otherwise high-level battlers, who begin second-guessing themselves from the very first moment they swing for a chin, get only air, then get hammered with a counter that they never saw coming.

But while Rigondeaux is beating opposition with a keen boxing intellect and a genius-level mastery of angles, the Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko is a master of a different sort.

Lomachenko is pure, fine-tuned athleticism—a raw talent so great that opposition seems to be moving in slow motion against him.

“Hi-Tech” can tilt and swerve and re-position himself in front of an opponent before the befuddled foe can even respond to the first move he made. He makes dominance look easy in much the same way a prime Roy Jones Jr. made it look easy against otherwise solid opposition.

Unlike the super-serious, stone-faced and stoic Rigondeaux, however, Lomachenko has a bit of a mean streak when it comes to his mastery. He taunts and mugs at overmatched prey struggling to keep up with the dynamo in front of them. He laughs at their inadequacies.

On paper, it would appear that Lomachenko has the advantage over Rigondeaux in a few key areas. He’ll be fighting the fight at 130, his natural weight, and asking Rigondeaux to move up two weight classes to take the challenge. He also has an eight-year advantage in age over the 37-year-old (who may actually be significantly older than his reported age).

There’s also the huge factor of this bout being on a Bob Arum card—a Bob Arum who seemed to be seething for quite some time after Rigondeaux, his one-time client, embarrassed promotional stablemate and “next big thing” Nonito Donaire in a one-sided schooling. The Rigondeaux-Donaire fallout led to Rigondeaux leaving Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and produced about four years of public bad blood since then. It would be naïve to think that Rigondeaux will get the benefit of any doubt when it comes to scoring in this Arum-promoted fight.

So, what should be a master class of skill and ability from two true elite-level players is not as pure as one would’ve liked it to be.

Actually, it would take a superman to walk into an unlevel playing field like this against a true elite like Lomachenko and walk away with the win. Put any other 122 lb. fighter in there against Lomachenko under the same conditions and there would be zero chance of emerging victorious. But Rigondeaux IS Superman and he has proven his character and his class, both as a man, literally fighting his way to freedom in the United States, and as a fighter. If anyone can pull off the impossible (or near impossible), he can.

And that’s why Lomachenko-Rigondeaux is still so appealing, even after one understands that the deck is stacked in Lomachenko’s favor.

It’s not often that we get two such talents matched up against one another these days without having to suffer through years of “marination” via media manipulation. In just this one case, it may be alright to shut one’s critical inner voice a bit and enjoy the fight, if not necessarily the result.

There’ll be time for criticism and analysis later. For now, let’s just watch a stellar match-up for the sake of watching a stellar match-up.

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  1. Koolz 02:01pm, 12/07/2017

    Can’t see a counter puncher beat someone that can move like Loma.
    Basically a dancer in the ring.  Rigo won’t be able to land anything even get into range.  Loma will come in let off combos and dance out.

    Lomachenko will be the hunter and his feet will be to much on the night.

    Very tough fight for Rigo.  Regardless it’s going to be amazing!

  2. fan 11:04am, 12/07/2017

    Rigo wins with plexus shot.

  3. Pete The Sneak 09:37am, 12/07/2017

    Thanks Koolz! Great stuff.

  4. Koolz 06:04am, 12/07/2017

    http://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/21681715/training-just-piece-puzzle-vasiliy-lomachenko-lomachenko-vs-rigondeaux-espn

    It’s why they call him Hi-Tech

    everything is the mind.

  5. Koolz 08:20pm, 12/06/2017

    Remember this saying:
    Use Limitation that is no Limitation

    always remember age is an illusion. 

    you are right Gogea Mitu age is not a factor in this fight.

  6. Gogea Mitu 02:34pm, 12/06/2017

    Rigo’s 37….Golovkin will be 36 April….people were hoping and praying for him to get old overnight and still are for that matter. Doubt very much that Lomo who will be 30 in February gives two shits about Rigo’s age….it’s not a factor here….there’s no uneven playing field here….this is a real fight and both guys know it and still would be if the age difference was reversed!

  7. Pete The Sneak 05:22am, 12/06/2017

    “It’s not often that we get two such talents matched up against one another these days without having to suffer through years of “marination” via media manipulation.”...Nuff said! Right on point Paul Magno. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy 2 skilled craftsmen ply their trade. Should be fun…Peace.

  8. Koolz 06:01pm, 12/05/2017

    you are incorrect Loma did want Rigo at 126 there was just a question of the money.
    I think a lot of fighters have turned him down do to money.

    finally we have the best fight of this year!  Going to be Amazing!

    Watching Rigo training and he looks pretty much same size as Loma.  Might be a good weight for Rigo to stay at.

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