LOMA TO RIGO: "I AM GOING TO WALK THROUGH YOU LIKE A TANK"
Wed, 06 Dec 2017
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 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.
On a recent conference call, both sides spoke about the fight.
Here's what Lomachenko and his team had to say:
Bob, this is your 30th promotion at The Garden, dating back to Muhammad Ali vs. Oscar Bonavena (December 7, 1970), and it’s a big one...
BOB ARUM: This is a conference call with the greatest fighter since Muhammad Ali. A guy that I can’t wait to see in a historic fight that has never happened before – in each corner a fighter having two Gold Medals. This is an historic battle and it’s going to be one of many historic battles for Vasyl Lomachenko who I have said from the beginning he is the best fighter I have seen since the early Muhammad Ali.
VASYL LOMACHENKO: I would like to thank everyone who is participating in this call. This is the first time I am going to be talking in two months about the fight.
You said that if Rigondeaux wants to win he will have to come straight at me. Do you think Rigondeaux is going to do that?
VASYL LOMACHENKO: No, I don’t think he’s going to be doing that. He has never done that in his whole career. When he goes forward he falls down in the ring. I don’t think he’s going to be doing that.
Can you respond to Rigondeaux’s comment saying you wouldn’t fight him at featherweight?
VASYL LOMACHENKO: We all can’t believe in that nonsense. There is a video of one of the reporters asking him ‘would you like to fight Vasyl Lomachenko?’ when he was at 126. He said to the reporter “wait a second, what weight am I fighting?’ and the reporter said 122 and he said ‘well what kind of questions do we have? I am at 122.’ It is on video on YouTube - anybody can find it. It’s not the truth.
How do you feel about the two greatest amateurs in the history of the sport fighting against each other?
VASYL LOMACHENKO: Yes, I agree that it is a historical bout, it is an interesting bout and most importantly it is an interesting bout for me. A lot of time was spent to make this bout. For a while it was never happening and finally it happened. It is very, very interesting and all of the boxing fans wanted to see the bout and finally we can deliver it.
Rigondeaux is known for his defense – how do you break through it?
VASYL LOMACHENKO: Yes of course I have a plan in my head, a picture of what I am going to do but I don’t think it would be too smart to talk about it right now. I think it is better one time to see than 100 times to say.
When Bob Arum calls you the best fighter since the young Muhammad Ali does that put added pressure on you?
VASYL LOMACHENKO: I am hearing from Mr. Arum saying these things about me for almost two years. It doesn’t put pressure on me anymore – it used to but no more.
How long did you know this fight would be next and how did that factor into your Twitter war?
EGIS KLIMAS: We were fooling around with Twitter - the people that run Rigondeaux’s twitter, they were very aggressive about the fight. To tell you the truth, I never believed the fight was going to happen until I got the phone call from Bob telling me “the deal is done, I have a signed contract, so let’s get ready for the fight.” That was the only time I knew the fight was going to happen.
You recently said, “I am going to squash him.“ Will you be satisfied with anything other than a knockout?
VASYL LOMACHENKO: I said I am going to walk through him like a tank. They are two different things. I am going to walk through him like a tank and knock him out. They are two different impressions. I am like every single fighter – going into the ring I have in my mind ‘finish the bout before all the rounds are over and to get the victory before that. There is a good possibility that the fight will end before the twelfth round. I am not promising to knock him out but I am promising to squash him.
BOB ARUM: I just can’t wait for December 9th. We had a fastest sellout in the history of Madison Square Garden. Everybody who is anybody is going to be at the fight. We expect a tremendous rating on ESPN. This will be Loma’s second fight on ESPN. He is one of the tent poles in the ESPN-Top Rank boxing program. As far as this fight, it should be a tremendously interesting fight.
VASYL LOMACHENKO: Thank you very much for your attention and we’ll see you in New York!
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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.
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