Skill, Craft, Finesse, and Guile. These are the adjectives I will use to describe Guillermo Rigondeaux and Vasyl Lomachenko, as the 2 Two-time Olympic gold medalists collide this Saturday, December 9 on ESPN at Madison Square Garden in NYC.
Normally as you all know I would be doing a video breakdown of this super-fight on paper, however since IN THIS CORNER TV Producer Jon Hait is out of town and yours truly, Smitty, is a bit under the weather, you'll have to just settle for this quick pugilistic pen breakdown. Here we go.
Let start out with Offense where for the most part I give the edge to Lomachenko as he is simply the much busier of the two. However, in terms of really sharp shooting and power shots, Rigondeaux is the better of the two. Loma has the better footwork from an offensive standpoint and is very 'Willie Pepish' as Rigo is usually thinking more from a defensive posture which brings us right into defense where clearly Rigo has a strong edge. He is masterful to a point where it has caused him to be somewhat of an anathema to networks and some fans who see much of his style as being somewhat boring. Something many have said about Floyd Mayweather but Rigo takes it to another level and many of those reasons are not his fault but that would be a whole other story. Anyway Rigo is the better fighter defensively. Nothing at all wrong with Loma's D, but his overwhelming offense and brilliant footwork and athleticism are the attributes that make him very difficult to catch solid and with more than one punch at a time. Although how many fighters of today even throw combinations. I know that to is another story and again Smitty is under the weather so lets move on and try and wrap this up.
The factors that will most likely be the coup de grace in this one will be the intangibles. Loma, age 29, is much younger than Rigo who at age 37 is not only 8 years the senior but moving up 2 weight classes for this fight which for little dudes in boxing can be a huge difference. Also, and this is key in terms of activity, Loma has been the much busier having 9 fights over the past 3 years compared to but 5 for Rigo. Let's also remind ourselves that although these two are all-time great Amateur Boxers, but as pros they have had only 27 total fights (Loma 9-1 and Rigo 17-0). So I for one will not call them all-time great professionals simply for that reason. However, by today's standards and with what they both accomplished as Amateur fighters, this is about as good as it gets.
Putting all of this together I have to give the edge to the boxer from Ukraine over the brilliant Cuban tactician with big pop. I believe all that Loma needs to do is keep doing what he has done, whereas for Rigo to pull off what would be considered the upset, he needs to get out of his comfort zone somewhat to make Loma uncomfortable. My advise would be go to the Loma body early and often. Get on the inside and attempt to rough him up a bit. I have noticed more than a few times that Loma can get unglued mentally when he is made to feel uncomfortable. He will complain to the ref and he gets off of his game. Rigo will also have to take some shots a few more times than he is accustomed to in order to set down on his tremendous straight left off the southpaw style. If Rigo can do these things enough he is capable of winning this fight.
My pick is Vasyl Lomachenko to defeat Guillermo Rigondeaux by decision in a boxing match that could at many times mimic the Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky Chess Match. (look it up young pups), meaning ultra strategic when you have two boxers with pugilistic IQs that are off the charts. If you're looking for Gatti vs Ward 4, you won't get it Saturday night at the Garden. What you will get is two wonderful fighters with 4 Gold Medals between them (only time this has been seen) giving us a big dose of Skill, Craft, Finesse and Guile that I believe will work better for me than any of these antibiotics I'm currently ingesting! I'll take boxing-biotics over antibiotics any day of the week. Loma by decision. Enjoy the fights everybody.