Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux is an upcoming professional boxing match to be contested for the WBO super featherweight championship. The bout will be held on December 9, 2017 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Lomachenko and Rigondeaux are regarded as two of the best amateurs in history, with each boxer winning two Olympic gold medals.
On August 6, Bob Arum stated that Lomachenko would fight for a third time in 2017, likely on December 9th or 23rd. When asked who the potential options were, Arum stated, ”Well, there’s a few guys. Rigondeaux if he answers Dino (Duva’s) call. There’s (Orlando) Salido, who’s sniffing around and the third is (Miguel) Berchelt.” Arum also mentioned lightweight contender Ray Beltrán, but said he would like to capture a world title at lightweight before a potential fight with Lomachenko.
On August 14, Arum spoke to LA Times and confirmed either Rigondeaux or Salido would be Lomachenko’s next opponent. He stated if the bout with Rigondeaux was made, it would likely take place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden and a potential rematch with Salido would take place in Los Angeles. On August 21, Arum stated both camps were closing in on finalising a deal for December 9.
The Fight is Confirmed
On September 15, the bout between Lomachenko and Rigondeaux was confirmed. The fight between Lomachenko and Rigondeaux will take place at 130 pounds. On October 3, Arum stated there was less than a hundred tickets remaining and the event would go on to be the biggest live gate in the history of the Theatre. On November 18, Carl Moretti of Top Rank revealed a re-hydration clause on the contract.
Both fighters agreed to weigh in at 09:00 on the morning of the fight, where they would not be able to exceed 138 pounds. Any fighter over the limit would face a penalty of more than $10,000. On November 28, the WBA announced that Rigondeaux would lose his title at super bantamweight if he lost to Lomachenko.
WBA president Gilberto Mendoza Jr. went on to say if Rigondeaux defeats Lomachenko, he would have five days to decide whether he is to return to the division or stay at super featherweight. He stated that special permission was granted because the bout was ‘an important fight for boxing’. Upon receiving the news, Rigondeaux took to Twitter and stated he was disappointed.
On September 26, a promotional pre-sale began for tickets. Promoters, managers and boxers gave their thoughts on the fight.
“The Lomachenko versus Rigondeaux title fight is a signature event in the sport of boxing. It matches the two greatest fighters in Olympic boxing facing off against each other. Never before in boxing history have two boxers, each the winner of two Olympic gold medals, faced each other in a professional boxing match.”
— Bob Arum, Top Rank Promoter