Rigondeaux faces Lomachenko for Super Featherweight title
Vasyl "Hi Tech" Lomachenko, from the Ukraine, the boxer who overwhelmed former World Boxing Association champion Nicholas "The Axeman" Walters in a memorable fight in November last year, will put his World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Super Featherweight title on the line tonight, at New York's fabled Madison Garden, against Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux in what could possibly be the best fight of the year.
One particularly interesting fact about these two boxers is that they are both former two-time Olympic champions.
Lomachenko, however, is also a two-time World Amateur Boxing Champion. His amateur record of 396-1 was what propelled him into the professional ranks, and saw him becoming a world champion in only his third fight. He has a 9-1 record and is without doubt one of the most accomplished boxers in the ring at this time.
His opponent, Rigondeaux, who, at 39, is 10 years older than the champion, is 17-0 in his career and currently holds the WBO Super Bantamweight title.
He is, therefore, moving up in weight class to challenge Lomachenko. The champion is starting an overwhelming favourite and has stated emphatically that the fight will not go the distance. He has won seven of his fights by stoppage and is confident that the defensive-minded Cuban will not last the 12 rounds.
Rigondeaux has won 11 of his fights inside the distance, but despite this record, he is more renown for his defensive skills. He is labelled a boring fighter, and this has sometimes affected his bargaining power.
The fight against Lomachenko has evoked a lot of interest, however, because boxing fans are curious to see whether he can keep the Ukranian at bay. Another noteworthy aspect of his career is the fact that despite his successes, he has been knocked down several times in his career but has always come back to win, sometimes by knockout. He has backed himself fully and has predicted that he will be the winner tonight.
All these factors makes, it an intriguing encounter, but the champion is favoured to retain his title and to do so inside the distance. The fight will be broadcast by ESPN.