By Keith Idec
Vasyl Lomachenko’s promoter hopes his boxer will demoralize Guillermo Rigondeaux , similar to the way he broke Nicholas Walters’ will a year ago.
Bob Arum predicted that the Ukrainian southpaw will not only beat Rigondeaux on Saturday night, but will either stop the undefeated Cuban or make him resign. The Top Rank founder made the prediction while speaking to Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett on the avid boxing fan podcast , “Walking the Floor.”
“I’m looking for Lomachenko to knock Rigondeaux out or stop him or make him quit [for the] ninth, tenth round, something like that,” Arum said. “Rigondeaux is a tremendous fighter, but Lomachenko is the best fighter I have ever seen.”
29-year-old Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs) is 4-1 favorite over 37-year-old Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs, 1 NC) for this 12-round fight for Lomachenko’s WBO super featherweight title . The match is scheduled for Saturday night in a main event that ESPN will broadcast from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York (9 pm EST / 6 pm PST).
Rigondeaux has moved up in two weight classes, from 122 pounds to 130, to challenge Lomachenko.
Arum anticipates a dominant performance from Lomachenko in this fight. He believes he will push to beat Cuban Rigondeaux by knockout, just like he did when he met Jamaica’s Walters (26-1-1, 21 KOs) in November 2016 in Las Vegas.
“The difference between [Rigondeaux] and Lomachenko is that Lomachenko has all the skills in the world and accumulates points, but he’s always looking for how he can destroy his opponent,” Arum said. “In other words, Lomachenko knows that he has accumulated enough points, he can fight in the fight and win. He doesn’t want to do it because from the first round, when he feels his opponent, it is always with the idea that he will either destroy the guy or make him quit. A different mentality ”.