It is a common phrase that is thrown around within the boxing fraternity, ‘size matters’ and former 2-weight divisional kingpins, Bernard Hopkins and Rosendo Alvarez have spoken of their belief that will be the case when Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux collide and do battle for the WBO featherweight world championship on December 9th at the Mecca of boxing in Madison Square Garden.
Bernard Hopkins famously made the climb two full weight divisions from middleweight to dethrone IBO and Lineal light heavyweight titleholder, Antonio Tarver. While stressing his belief that Rigondeaux is a phenomenally gifted fighter but he thinks its too big a task to hold off a fighter so much bigger who almost matches you in every aspect of the skill department.
— LOMA (@VasylLomachenko) October 22, 2017
Rigondeaux and Lomachenko both boast arguably the two most decorated amateur records of all time, with Lomachenko boasting a record of 396-1 while his Cuban adversary racked up an equally impressive 463-12. The December 9th meeting will also mark the first time two, two-time Olympic champions will collide inside the squared circle.
Speaking exclusively with ESPN Deportes, Hopkins shared his assertion that Lomachenko’s overwhelming strength and size advantages will lead to Lomachenko eventually inflicting a first professional defeat on Rigondeaux by the way of knockout; “Lomachenko will win and by knockout, in the late rounds,” Hopkins said.
If anyone make fun of my training pants again you gonna get it! 🥊🥊🥊🙏🏿😜 pic.twitter.com/1ipNxiwlOX
— Guillermo Rigondeaux (@RigoElChacal305) November 5, 2017
Former world champion ‘El Bufalo’ Rosendo Alvarez, who held the minimumweight and jr flyweight world championships, agrees that size will matter – but went into depth over why the style and ability of Lomachenko will prove crucial.
“I think it’s going to be a very complicated fight, two similar styles, defensive and with good speed, but I’m going with Lomachenko… I think he will come out with better results, because he’s more continuous with his attack. Rigondeaux starts off very slow, he doesn’t throw a lot of punches, and Lomachenko is not going to give him a chance to get going,” Alvarez said.
“He will be affected by the weight gain, he will not have the same power, the same punch similar to what happened with Chocolatito. In that weight division, Rigondeaux will not have the same punch or speed in his legs to be able to escape the attacks of Lomachenko, who is adapted and accustomed to fighting in that weight division” Alvarez concluded.