We surveyed members of our editorial staff to get their thoughts on the historic Lomachenko-Rigondeaux fight being staged Saturday in the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Consistent with the odds, there was a Lomachenko tilt but his Cuban adversary also drew support. The respondents are listed alphabetically.
Lomachenko TKO8 in a fight he dominates from the opening bell. Coming up two weight classes, ring age and a questionable set of whiskers are just too many negatives for Rigondeaux to overcome against such a skilled guy as Lomachenko. – MATT ANDRZEJEWSKI
I’m going with Lomachenko. He is the bigger guy and has plenty of experience against the Cuban style. Lomachenko by decision. – DAVID AVILA
Styles make fights, and although Lomachenko has the instincts of an action fighter, his skill set, and that of Rigondeaux, almost dictate a dual display of beautiful boxing. Loma’s most obvious advantages are his youth and more varied attack options. I see him winning by unanimous decision, but maybe not as wide as the Ukrainian’s devotees expect. – BERNARD FERNANDEZ
Rigo UD. Call it a hunch but I think Rigo will decision Loma in a relatively close but dirtier fight than expected. At the very highest levels of boxing mastery, I don’t think Lomachenko has the creativity to deal with a motivated Rigondeaux. Orlando Salido showed us what the squeaky clean sportsman Loma truly lacks when the going gets rough in there. If hit after the bell or below the belt by the Cuban Jackal, will Loma return fire with fire or go down in flames again? – JEFFREY FREEMAN
Rigondeaux is two weight divisions below Lomachenko, eight years older, and has fought three rounds in the past 24 months. Vasyl put the matter in perspective after dominating Miguel Marriaga when he said, “Rigondeaux, I think it looks the same as this one.” I agree. – THOMAS HAUSER
I am going to go out on a limb and say Rigo surprises. Lomachenko sometimes relies on what I like to call “channeling Maxie Rosenbloom” and that is that he volume slaps when he’s not shooting off hard punches. As for Rigo, almost everything he throws is with wicked intent. If Rigo catches Loma with a bomb while Loma is dancing around and piling up the points, things could get real serious real quick. – MIGUEL ITURRATE
Lomachenko SD 12. It’s hard to pick against a guy who hasn’t tasted defeat in 14 years, but 37 is awful old for a boxer in a lower weight class. True, Rigo has answered the bell for only 108 rounds as a pro, but add in those 450-plus amateur fights and he has to be on the wrong side of the hill. – ARNE LANG
Lomachenko’s physicality will be the difference. The only way Rigondeaux can win is by stoppage and I don’t see that happening – FRANK LOTIERZO (Editor’s note: Frank will be examining the match in greater detail in his next article.)
Rigondeaux by late stoppage. I think Rigo will be able to counter Lomachenko’s aggressive attacks and potshot him enough to daze Lomachenko as the rounds wear on, and ultimately Loma will be too aggressive for his own good against the very hard punching Cuban. – KELSEY McCARSON
With two weight classes separating them, Lomachenko must be regarded as the prohibitive favorite but, in truth, even if they were the same size I’d favor Lomachenko. Presumably Rigondeaux will look to stay ahead of his larger foe while landing jabs. I look forwards to seeing Vasyl solve this particular problem, but he will solve it, probably before the end of the tenth. – MATT McGRAIN
We’ve seen people changing their minds again and again about this fight, and I have not been the exception. Lomachenko’s superb performances have come against extremely sub-par opposition. The talent is there, of course, but Rigo is far more proved at the professional level, and he knows fully well what this win will do to his legacy. Coming up in weight will also benefit Rigo, the lighter fighter in a fight in which speed and mobility will be a huge key. I see Rigo starting strong and finishing stronger while relinquishing his control in a few middle rounds to earn a close, 7-5 decision. – DIEGO MORILLA
I see Loma winning by late stoppage due to his superior size, more savvy corner, better chin, and superior stamina. – TED SARES
Lomachenko’s knockout ratio and Rigondeaux’s potentially vulnerable chin make the Ukrainian a solid favorite in this southpaw special, but don’t forget that “The Jackal” has more experience and has always found a way to win so if Rigo is uncommonly aggressive we could see a sloppy surprise. The ref will be kept busy in a battle that will probably come down to age, which also favors Lomachenko. – PHIL WOOLEVER
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