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Dec 6, 2017

Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux betting preview

The impact of a jump in weight

What are the two fighters' strengths?

How will the fight be won?

Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux betting preview

On Saturday, December 9, Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs) will face Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) at Madison Square Garden Theater, New York, in a fight that represents one of the purest boxing matches ever staged. Where is the value in the Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux odds? Read on to find out.

Live Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux odds

Guillermo Rigondeaux currently holds the WBA super bantamweight world title but will move up eight-pounds and two weight divisions to take on Vasyl Lomachenko for his WBO title at 130-pounds. This fight is sure to be a spectacle and there’s plenty to consider for bettors.

Analysing the fight: A brief history

For the first time ever, two Olympic gold medalists will fight as professionals with the ultra-gifted Ukrainian Lomachenko installed as favourite. A fighter set apart from others due to his astounding physical gifts, mastery technique and quickness, Lomachenko has lost just twice in 412 fights, claiming a world title in just his third professional contest and like Rigondeaux is a two-time Olympic champion. 

Cuban master Rigondeaux is unbeaten in 17 fights as a professional and lost just 12 times in an amateur career that spanned 475 contests. “El Chacal” is a two-time world amateur champion, and has not lost a bout since 2003 yet remarkably starts this weekend’s fight as an underdog - the current Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux odds exemplify the quality of the matchup.

Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux betting: The jump in weight

Cuba’s Rigondeaux is naturally a super-bantamweight, while Lomachenko operates at super-featherweight – a difference of 8lbs and two weight divisions. In a bold move, Rigondeaux is making the jump in weight to secure the fight and this has to be commended but will almost certainly be a detrimental factor in terms of his chances of winning.

The fight is unlikely going to be toe-to-toe but the prospect of watching two elite pugilists with a combined record of 14 defeats in 887 fights, and four Olympic gold medals between them is a rarity.

Once you know how to bet on boxing, knowing about the methods a fighter is using before a major fight can vastly supplement how you bet on the fight. Taking away even a small percentage of a fighter’s strongest weapons by bulking and adding mass before the fight at this level can have a negative impact on their performance.

Rigondeaux will need to move, pivot, slip, control and attack to an elite level for twelve rounds to be victorious against the naturally bigger Lomachenko, so understanding how significant knowledge of pre-fight preparations can be in a boxing will certainly benefit bettors when analysing the Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux odds.

Strengths vs. Weaknesses

One key factor in this fight is punch output - Rigondeaux is low volume, whilst Lomachenko is high volume.

The fight pitches a master defensive fighter in Rigondeaux against a master offensive fighter in Lomachenko. Both boxers are extremely skilled but their skillsets are different. Rigondeaux is mainly a counter puncher while Lomachenko is more of a lead puncher and offensive fighter.

The challenger is a master of his craft but at low volume (think a post 2014 Floyd Mayweather). Deserting this counter punching, distance controlling style to fight Lomachenko is highly unlikely to change, but the Cuban will need to adapt his style to keep the ultra-busy Lomachenko off.

The main knock on Rigondeaux and his career so far is that while he has elite skills and ability, his fights can often be seen as boring. However, Lomachenko could be the kind of high-level opponent that will bring out the best in the 37-year-old.

When analysing Lomachenko, the Ukrainain is very slick. He's smart in the ring and demonstrates the experience of 300 plus amateur fights. His footwork is exceptional and it is hard to envisage Rigondeaux’s one-shot style working on the champion.

Lomachenko seemed unfazed by the power of a much bigger 146lbs Orlando Salido or Gary Russell Jr who weighed around 138lbs on fight night, so a 129lb Rigondeux will struggle to deter Lomachenko once he begins throwing overwhelming combinations. 

Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux odds: How will the fight be won?

For Rigondeaux it is pivotal not to allow Lomachenko any leverage in the first three rounds, attack the body in spurts, pick his offensive periods and apply systematic pressure whilst continually moving. The Cuban holds a reach advantage by three inches and longer arms can be crucial in a fight at this level.

Rigondeaux will need to move, pivot, slip, control and attack to an elite level for twelve rounds to be victorious against the naturally bigger Lomachenko

The 37-year-old will need to keep Lomachenko at distance and beat him to the punch, be conservative, using his reach advantage to full effect. “El Chacal” has completed the championship rounds more frequent than Lomachenko and will need to show and demonstrate to the Ukrainian who the veteran is from the opening bell - the worry will be that adding eight pounds of muscle at 37, coupled with inactivity could prove a bridge too far.

For Lomachenko, measured methodical pressure and work rate is key. The Ukrainian is the younger man by eight years, a natural 130-lbs fighter, taller, and will weigh more on fight night - timing is paramount when letting his hands go due to Rigondeaux’s superb counterpunching ability.

The champion will need to use his superior footwork, pivot, make the Cuban miss and frustrate him. Rigondeaux is fallible with questionable punch resistance at 122-pound so can he stand up to the power of a fully-fledged 130-pound elite fighter? The Cuban can be hurt as shown in previous fights against Hisashi Amagasa and Roberto Marriquin (two fighters who don’t punch as hard as Lomachenko).

The fight is unlikely going to be toe-to-toe but the prospect of watching two elite pugilists with a combined record of 14 defeats in 887 fights, and four Olympic gold medals between them is a rarity, and may never happen again. The advantages certainly sit with Lomachenko and the Ukrainian could stand at the summit of boxing come 2018.

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