By Miguel Rivera
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum is expecting a classic this Saturday night at The Theater in New York;s Madison Square Garden, when world champions Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs) and Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) collide in an ESPN televised main event.
Rigondeaux, who is the WBA super bantamweight world champion, is heading up by eight pounds and two weight divisions to challenger Lomachenko for the WBO super featherweight crown.
For Lomachenko, who stopped his last six opponents, this will be his third fight of the year - while Rigondeaux has only seen a single round in 2017 and two rounds in 2017.
Arum is absolutely delighted that boxing is a few days away from seeing two amateur legends collide. Each boxer has captured two Olympic gold medals.
"It's about the two best fighters in the amateurs of our time, as they had achievements of historical dimensions before they ever became professionals," explained Arum to ESPN Deportes.
"Rigondeaux won two Olympic medals, several world titles and is regarded as one of the best fighters ever in amateur boxing.As a professional, in addition to circulating with the aura of being undefeated, he has held several world titles. And when Rigondeaux was already out [of the amateurs], Lomachenko began his career in amateur boxing where he became one of the most prominent fighters, winning, likewise, several world titles as an amateur and two gold medals in the same number of Olympic Games.
"In the case of Lomachenko, we can add that before reaching his tenth professional fight, he had already achieved two world titles. Now we have the opportunity to see these two great fighters, face each other, in a fight that all boxing fans wanted to witness, as along with the greatness of the boxers, we will be witnessing a fight between the Cuban boxing school, and the one from Eastern Europe. That is why I have classified it as a fascinating fight."
Arum does not believe that age or weight will play a factor in the fight.
"The issue of the age difference is something that can not be changed, but as for the differences in weight - I don't think it's that important, because for this fight the boxers are forced to weigh themselves on the morning of December 9, the day of the fight, and can not exceed 138 pounds," Arum said.
"In addition, Lomachenko and Rigondeaux, are fighters with a very similar physical makeup. Lomachenko left the 126-pound division because he did not find any important opponents, so he went to the super featherweight division, but if he attempted it - he can make featherweight tomorrow. That is why, while a weight limit is respected, by the time both of them get in the ring, on the day of the fight, I do not believe that the weight will be an issue [for either]."