Lomachenko and Rigondeaux Talk Up Historic Showdown
Fri, 01 Dec 2017
We are ten days away from arguably the most historic fight we have seen in many a year. Two 2-time Olympic Gold Medalists facing off for the first time professionally, at the highest level, in a world championship fight. It will be Saturday, December 9 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, which has been sold out for nearly two months. It and it will be televised live on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. There will be a four-bout telecast that will end up with the grand finale of a great night of boxing, Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux. The entire card will stream live on the ESPN App., beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT
MICHAEL YORMARK (President & Chief of Branding & Strategy, Roc Nation): Thank you and good afternoon everybody. We are equally excited about this incredible night of boxing. On behalf of Guillermo as well as Roc Nation, we want to thank Top Rank; we want to thank ESPN; and all of the organizations that have been involved in making this event what it will be on December 9. I’m joined today by Dino Duva who heads up Roc Nation Boxing and would like for him to talk about the bout.
DINO DUVA (Head of Boxing, Roc Nation): Thank you and just to echo what Michael said we are just extremely proud and excited to be part of this great historic fight. It’s a pleasure doing business with Bob and Top Rank and everyone on their team and obviously ESPN who is the leader in sports around the world to be a part of this historic event as a boxing fan I can’t wait to see this fight. We are very excited for Rigo, amongst everything. Rigo has had a historic legendary career as an Olympic fighter and now as a professional and this is a fight that he’s been waiting for his entire career, to bring him not just to the top of the pound-for-pound list, where he has always been, to bring him the exposure and the accolades as one of the most popular fighters in the world that he’s so deserving of. But he’s never had the chance to get there. This is the fight that’s going to bring him over that hump. We congratulate Lomachenko – he’s a great fighter – we think he’s stepped up a little too much in this fight, but it’s going to be a great match. We are just really proud to be a part of this historic event.
GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX: I’m very happy that everything has been put in place. I started on ESPN so I am very happy that this fight is taking place there and I would like to thank Roc Nation and Top Rank for putting it together. I have been anticipating this fight for a long time and now everything is concrete and the fight is on its way.
Lomachenko said yesterday that if Rigondeaux wants to win he will have to come straight at me. What do you think of that?
GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX: Let him think what he wants. We are going to do what we need to do. We have our game plan.
What was the thought process to move up two divisions to make this fight happen? Did you think about staying at 122?
GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX: I went up to 130 because it was the only way I could get this fight made. I would rather it have been at a lower weight, but I want to show the world that I can do it by moving up two weight classes.
There are not many fighters in history that have been on par with Guillermo’s amateur career – does you view Lomachenko as an equal?
GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX: He is a great boxer and he has a lot of qualities and he is also an Olympic Champion, multiple times, so he’s got a lot of talent, yes.
How do you feel about that fact that most people are looking at mostly your amateur backgrounds when talking about the fight? After all, it is the first time that two-time Olympic Gold Medal winners are going to fight each other.
GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX: Yes, it is the first time in history that two multiple Olympic champions are going to fight each other, face each other off, and it is going to be a very good fight. It’s going to be a great fight for the fans and it’s going to be a great historical fight that fans will forever look back on.
Since fighting Drian Francisco in 2015, you have only had two fights that lasted a total of three rounds. Are you concerned about any kind of rust because of the way you fight it is so much about his timing and quickness?
GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX: No, not at all. I can assure you 100% that I am at 100% and I am going to show the world what I have been preparing for.
Do you think that eight pounds is too much to give up?
GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX: No, not at all. If this is what it takes to fight the big fights then you guys are going to see on December 9 if I am ready or not.
What other champions would you like to face ideally?
GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX: I am tired of saying, ‘don’t talk to me about Santa Cruz, don’t talk to me about Frampton’ – I have already said I want to fight these guys. Ask them if they want to fight – anybody, any time, but I am tired of saying that. Ask them who they want too fight because they don’t want to fight me.
Considering you are jumping two weight classes how will you rate your power?
GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX: I feel stronger than ever and I am going to do it and do it right. Moving up has had no negative effect whatsoever on my speed or power.
What about the WBA and the 122 lb. title – do you have any comments on that?
Top-rated pound-for-pound fighters and Olympic legends VASILY "Hi-Tech" LOMACHENKO.and GUILLERMO "El Chacal" RIGONDEAUX will go mano a mano in a collision of world champions, Next Saturday, December 9, at the The Theater at Madison Square Garden. This historic battle will mark the first time two-time Olympic gold medalists have fought each other professionally at the highest level. Lomachenko will be defending his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight world title against the reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) super bantamweight champion Rigondeaux. The fight, which will headline a spectacular all-action card that will be will be televised live and exclusively at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN App, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Roc Nation Sports and Madison Square Garden, tickets to the Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux world championship event sold out two months in advance! It is Lomachenko's second advance sellout in his past three fights. His April 8 title defense against former world champion Jason Sosa sold out the MGM National Harbor one month in prior to the event.
For more information visit: www.toprank.com,www.espn.com/boxing;Facebook facebook.com/trboxing, facebook.com/trboxeo, facebook.com/espndeportes; Twitter twitter.com/trboxing, twitter.com/trboxeo, @ESPN @ESPNBoxeo @ESPNDeportes. Use the hashtags #LomaRigo to join the conversation on Twitter.
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