Super Bantamweight Ring Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 KOs) recently ended an 11-month layoff making an appearance on the undercard of the Cotto vs Canelo HBO PPV event this past Saturday at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Rigondeaux easily defeated Drian Francisco of the Philippines, but turned in possibly his worst performance of his career, landing only 72 punches in 10 uneventful rounds. However, Rigondeaux and his team stated to the boxing media that he wasn’t 100 percent and that the 11 month layoff had an effect, and promises to be more explosive in his next outing. For the sake of Rigondeaux’s career hopefully he will deliver on his word in promising a knockout.
The question now is what is next for Rigondeaux? It’s unclear at the moment where Rigondeaux and his handlers will go from here, but WBO Featherweight Champion Vasyl Lomachenko is still a possible opponent in the future and HBO boxing analyst Max Kellerman expressed his thoughts in an interview with fighthype.com on this potential matchup he would like to see and the issues that could prevent it from happening.
“He (Rigondeaux) wants Lomachenko to come down, said Max Kellerman. “Lomachenko won a lightweight gold medal in the Olympics and then move down, he’s a naturally significantly bigger guy than Rigondeaux, he’s in his physical prime Rigondeaux is not and also he might be better. That’s what we’re there to find out, Lomachenko is a beast.”
Weight is definitely one of the issues that can prevent this fight from happening since Rigondeaux has insisted that he would fight Lomachenko at a catchweight of 124 pounds. Rigondeaux won two Olympic gold medals in the bantamweight division and has campaigned at 122 pounds as a pro and only rehydrates at around 126 pounds on fight night.
Lomachenko won two gold medals in both the featherweight and lightweight divisions respectively and has since been campaigning as a featherweight as a pro. However, he’s never weighed in below 125 pounds and rehydrates at or around 135 pounds on fight night. Lomachenko will have a significant size advantage against Rigondeaux on fight night, but Loma could also possibly match Rigo’s skills which make it a very dangerous fight for EL Chacal.
“He (Lomachenko) is probably my favorite fighter to watch right now, stated Max Kellerman to fighthype.com. And much more the kind of fighter that people like in the sense that he uses his athleticism which is elite, and his skills which are elite just like Rigondeaux has elite athleticism and skills. But he (Loma) uses it more entertainingly than Rigondeaux and he also might be better, that’s another fight I would like to see.”
Both fighters actually need each other right now as Lomachenko desperate for a big fight has been boxed out and because of the political landscape, unification bouts with the other 126 pound champions will be too difficult to make.
Rigondeaux is also having difficulty getting any top opponent at 122 pounds to face him and recently received a reprieve from the Ring for not stripping him of his Ring title because many of the top opponents have shown a reluctance to get in the ring with the Cuban and he recently inked a new promotional deal with Roc Nation Sports. Rigondeaux will have to fight a top 5 opponent in his next bout or risk being stripped of the Ring title.
Rigondeaux vs Lomachenko is the fight for both men as it will be the first time in boxing history two Olympic Champions with two gold medals each squaring off in the ring.