Monday, October 02, 2023  |



Lomachenko-Rigondeaux talks still going, says Rigo’s manager

Fighters Network

People were thinking they were on a track to see Vasyl Lomachenko fight Nicholas Walters next, but that train went off rails, it seems like, when Walters couldn’t make 126 for his last fight, at Madison Square Garden on June 13.

That indicated he wasn’t long for 126, and thus, we wouldn’t be seeing that collision between the Axe Man, the Jamaican sensation, who got the W against Miguel Marriaga in NYC, and the Ukrainian future star with the superior amateur predigree, Lomachenko.

Now, I hear whispers that Walters in fact is confident he can indeed make 126, that he hasn’t outgrown featherweight…but a possible matchup that seems to have reached the simmer stage is a Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux clash.

Could that be activated?

Rigo manager Gary Hyde is hopeful; the Irishman told me he was going to call Lomachenko’s manager, Egis Limas, on Wednesday afternoon, to see if they could get on the same page. That page would have to include common ground on weight….

I touched base with Hyde soon after he told me that and he reported that indeed, he’d chatted with Klimas, who also handles the Russian terminator Sergey Kovalev. “Egis said the fight must be at 126,” Hyde told me. “I pushed for a rehydration clause of 134 pounds max the day of the fight. He agreed on that. I will offer this to Rigo (age 34; 15-0; last fought in December, beat Hisahi Amagasa in Japan, held on to RING junior featherweight title and two other 122-pound crowns) and I think he will agree. The main issue for us was that we thought Loma would weigh 140 on fight night. They are very interested in the fight. Egis agreed it’s the biggest fight for both men at this point.”

I touched base with Klimas, not long after he finished up a conference call hyping the July 25 Kovalev defense against Nadjib Mohammedi. Is he similarly upbeat about making Rigo vs. Loma?

He sounded like it could reach fruition, “If Rigo will step to 126.”

And what of the rehydration element?

“I need to check with Loma,” he said. “But I think so. Loma never comes to the ring heavier anyway.”

Good stuff, there; that would be ultra high stakes chess. The majestic pugilism of Rigo, the Cuban-bred specialist at or near the pound for pound top of the heap, versus Lomachenko (age 27; 4-1 with 2 KOs; last fought May 2, retained WBO feather crown with KO9 over Gamalier Rodriguez), who pundits drool over, possessor of exemplary footwork and ring smarts and savvy, and possibly a pure power edge over the Cuban.

Rigo is promoted by Caribe, while Top Rank oversees the Rigo train. HBO is in the Loma business, while Rigo has hopped around, platform wise. Hopefelly, political planets line up so it could get done. We will keep you apprised…

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