Gary Hyde, the former manager of WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs), believes the Cuban fighter has made a huge mistake in accepting a fight to move up by two weight divisions to challenge WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs).
The fight is scheduled to headline an ESPN televised event at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, December 9.
The contest matches, for the first time, two amateur sensations who are both two-time Olympic gold medal winners.
Hyde believes Rigondeaux is giving up way too much, in terms of weight, by making an eight round jump at 37 years old.
If he was still a part of t he team, Hyde admits that he would have put the brakes on this match, especially at 130-pounds. He says the Cuban boxer has never walked around at anything higher than 128-pounds between fights.
In the opinion, Lomachenko's promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank is setting Rigondeaux up for a loss. Rigondeaux was at one time promoted by Arum and they had a falling out a few years ago.
“If I was still ‘Rigo’’s manager, this wouldn’t be happening. This is a big, big mistake. He can give Lomachenko problems, but he’s giving away too much. ’Rigo’ is giving away weight and years to a fighter who’s very, very special – and much bigger as well," Hyde told Boxing News.
“’Rigo’ can get down to 118-pounds and all the time I managed him, I never knew him go above 128-pounds. If Lomachenko was being sporting, he would say: ‘Let’s meet at 126-pounds.’ People are saying it’s a great, great fight and it is – if you support Lomachenko. ‘Rigo’ should not fight him.
“’Rigo’ has beaten so many Bob Arum fighters – and I think he wants his scalp. I remember Bob Arum telling me: ‘Nobody will ever beat ‘Rigo’ – and now he’s found someone who has a chance – but he’s two weight divisions bigger. If, God forbid, Lomachenko beats ‘Rigo’ easily, people will be saying it’s because he was too big and that’s why I’m saying the fight shouldn’t happen."