Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux Prediction

Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, December 9, 2017
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
TV: ESPN
Weight Class: Super Featherweight: 130 Pounds
Titles: WBO Super Featherweight Title
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Vasyl Lomachenko, 9-1 (7 KOs), Ukraine
Vs.
Guillermo Rigondeaux, 17-0 (11 KOs), Cuba/Miami

Betting Odds: Vasyl Lomachenko (-470), Guillermo Rigondeaux (+375)

Vasyl Lomachenko takes on Guillermo Rigondeaux in defense of his WBO 130-pound belt on December 9 in a high-stakes battle between two of the more-capable fighters in the world. This is the first-ever pro pairing of former two-time gold medal winners. The 29-year old Lomachenko won gold in 2008 and 2012, with Rigondeaux, 37, winning his hardware in 2000 and 2004. Rigondeaux is moving up two weight classes to fight Lomachenko, whose size and youth are considered to be the advantages heading into this matchup of two of the more-accomplished boxers of this era.

The Ukrainian southpaw Lomachenko has really tapped into something and many peg him as the finest fighter in the world, despite just a 9-1 record. His only loss was a split decision to Orlando Salido, with Lomachenko going for a world title in just his second pro fight. Since then, he has shined with his unique skills. He throws punches from strange angles, has advanced defense, and is very focused in the ring. His flexibility and comfort in the ring are unparalleled, as he effortlessly uses angles and renders tough opponents as shadows of themselves. He also applies a high volume of work, running his foes ragged, with guys often times quitting on their stool, just throwing their hands up in frustration at the wealth of skills he brings to the ring. It might be getting carried away to say this, but Lomachenko’s style is way ahead of its time. It’s really scientific and expertly applied by a fighter with a calm disposition who maintains a laser-concentration throughout the fight.

Rigondeaux, also considered one of the greatest amateurs ever, has also distinguished himself in the pro ranks, but inactivity and reluctance of other good fighters to challenge him have kept him out of the public eye in recent years. He appeared to turn the corner with a dominant win over Nonito Donaire in 2013, but the wins he has compiled since then have not really resonated. That doesn’t mean he can’t still get it done, but time seems to be ticking on the Cuban defector. While fighters certainly have thrived at 37 and beyond, we don’t often see fighters at this low of a weight continuing to shine at that age. Will we see a version of Rigondeaux who is enlivened by getting a chance to score a win of a high magnitude or will we see a Rigondeaux who has grown old and stale, with his remaining prime spent on inferior opponents and biding time waiting for fights like this?

You don’t have to be Colombo to sense the advantages that lie in Lomachenko’s column in this fight. He has been more active as of late against a higher-caliber of fighter. He is said to have only two inches of height on the 5’4″ Rigondeaux, but he seems to be taller than that. Not only is he two weight classes bigger than Rigondeaux, but Lomachenko seems to be even bigger than the Cuban than that. “Rigo” could probably make 118, while Lomachenko will be at 135 and above in the near future. Rigondeaux can hit, but will he be able to carry his power up to 130? The volume of Lomachenko makes it hard to envision Rigondeaux winning enough rounds to win a decision, meaning he might have to hurt, knock down, or even stop a far bigger man whose track record suggests a KO loss is not really in the cards.

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Rigondeaux is also a southpaw, but so is Lomachenko, so he won’t have whatever stylistic advantages that can bring. Lomachenko isn’t an easy guy to hit, despite being so active offensively. Rigondeaux is a chess player who likes to pick his shots. And with the size component, he might have to be more aggressive than normal. But as we explore the difficulty of his winning-case in this fight, let’s also give him the praise he deserves.

Boxing is a sport where talent can pay off big dividends. And when it comes to know-how and overall ability, Rigondeaux is likely without peer. The only one who competes with him in these areas is Lomachenko. But you can’t sell short Rigondeaux at all. He has nary been challenged in the pro ranks, following a high-level amateur career where he took on the best in the world for years and years. Even the staunchest Lomachenko backers have to be mindful of the magnitude of Rigondeaux’s skills. While we pontificate on the wonderment of Lomachenko’s abundant skills, let’s not neglect his foe. Just because we haven’t seen him being covered as much as Lomachenko doesn’t mean he isn’t great.

A lot of boxing’s pecking order is based on perception. Rigondeaux has been out of sight, so he is therefore out of mind. And what about Lomachenko’s one loss? Granted, fighting for a world title against a hardcore vet that uses every trick in the book like Salido was a tough spot for “Hi Tech” in fight number-two. He has come a long way since then and added a lot of professional polish. But to think that if Salido can find a way to win, then so can Rigondeaux isn’t an entirely faulty piece of analysis. However, hanging on that one Lomachenko loss could end up costing people money. It’s just that maybe he’s gotten too much of a free-pass for that loss.

There are a lot worse fighters to have at big underdog odds than the masterful Rigondeaux. And for those who feel Lomachenko’s name is being hyped-up, a stance on “Rigo” can be justified on different levels. The thinking here is that these are two top-level guys, with Lomachenko being the younger, fresher, and bigger fighter, with certain stylistic components lining up in his favor. We see Lomachenko getting the job done.

Loot’s Pick to Win the Fight: I’m betting on Vasyl Lomachenko at -470. Did you know… that you could be wagering on fights at discounted odds? There’s a better than good chance that you’re laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to BetAnySports Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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