They are two of the greatest amateur boxers ever. Rigondeaux had a reported amateur record of 400-12. I have also seen 475-12 listed and it is not always possible to find exact amateur records unless you ask the fighters themselves, however, 400-12 seems to be the record that is listed most often.
Lomachenko has confirmed on his twitter account that his record was 396-1.
Both are exceptionally gifted fighters with different styles.
Here i will take a look at both fighters and explain why i think they could meet in the pro ranks at some stage in the next few years.
Guillermo Rigondeaux (Cuba)
A phenomenon. Some think he is pretty much unbeatable, either as an amateur or pro. Not only one of the best Cuban's ever, one of the best amateurs of all time. A two time Olympic gold medal winner (2000,2004), two time World Amateur Champion (2001, 2003) and seven time Cuban national champion, Rigondeaux, as many experts predicted, has made a smooth transition to the pro ranks and won his first "World" title in only his 9th pro fight.
He then won universal recognition as the no.1 featherweight in the world three fights later with his points win over P4P contender, Nonito Donaire, in a fight that i personally thought was fairly close, but most others thought was a clear win for Rigo.
I'll have to watch it again. :)
Whatever, Rigo is now on the P4P lists himself, and that is an exceptional achievement after only 12 pro fights.
His style is a puzzle that is going to be hard to solve for even the best fighters. He's an out-and-out counter puncher who waits and waits for his opportunities, then strikes with hard shots when he see's an opening.
His nickname, "the Jackal" is quite apt, but i think "the Cobra" might be more suitable.
He hits hard and precise to both head and body, and is hard to tag cleanly himself, however, when he has been caught he has been noticeably rocked at least one time (Robert Marroquin), and dropped twice too (by Donaire and Ricardo Cordoba).
In general though, i think he is tough enough to take what shots do get through. He showed quite a bit of resiliency when he was caught by Donaire (yes, Donaire did land a few good one's, despite what some may say).
Vasyl Lomachenko (Ukraine)
I have followed Lomachenko since the 2008 Olympics, where he won the gold medal at featherweight and also the Val Barker "Best Boxer" trophy.
He fights aggressively for the most part, but is equally effective both on the attack and on the defensive, and switches from one to the other fluidly. He has above average power, works the body well, and throws often in combination.
With his speed of hand and foot, and excellent footwork in general, he really is close to being a complete fighter.
In all his elite level amateur fights that i saw he was rarely pushed to the limit, usually coasting to victory, and often registering a stoppage. His lone loss in his entire 9 year amateur career came to the Russian, Albert Selimov, in the final of the 2007 World Amateur Championships.
Lomachenko gained revenge on Selimov the following year by eliminating him in the first round of the the 2008 Olympics.
He went on to win the gold at those Games and added a second Olympic gold in 2012. He also won two golds and a silver in the World Amateur Championships (2011, 2009, 2007).
I have said for a long time that i am really looking forward to this guy turning pro, and he has done so this week, signing with Top Rank. They say he has asked them to put him in tough from the start, and he has stated that he aims to break the record for winning a world title belt, even claiming he might fight for a title in his 2nd pro fight.
I think the major tests in the pros for him will relate to his toughness and punch resistance. Not that i ever saw him rocked in the least in the amateurs, although he does have good defense and slips, blocks and rolls a lot of the incoming shots.
I have no doubt that his conditioning and stamina will be top notch, as he is known as being an extremely hard worker who lives the life of a boxer.
I am confident that he will make a top pro, though i don't think they should move him too quickly.
Here's the really interesting part: Both fighters are signed with Top Rank.
Rigondeaux fights at super bantamweight (122lbs). Lomachenko turns pro (on the Timothy Bradley - Juan Manuel Marquez undercard on October 12) at featherweight (126lbs). One division apart.
As we know, both are great amateurs who only need a handful of pro fights to get to the top level, mainly because they have fought so many fights against a high level of opposition as amateurs.
This means that Lomachenko could be fast-tracked in a similar way to how Rigondeaux was.
I think (and certainly hope) that this fight can happen.
It would be one for the history books and hard to pick a winner, imo. Rigo would obviously be the favourite at this stage but who knows in 2 years time?? Lomachenko has youth on his side, Rigo the pro experience.
Please, don't anyone make the point that Lomachenko hasn't proven himself yet. This is obvious. I am just speculating on what i think could happen.
Here's how they compare. I have posted youtube clips of both as amateurs, as i think looking at Rigo as a pro and Lomachenko as an amateur would be unfair to Loma :
Height: 5' 4 - 5' 5"
Pros: 12-0 (8).
Lineal World Super Bantamweight Champion.
2 time Olympic Champion (2000, 2004)
2 time World Amateur Champion (2001, 2003)
Pan-American Champion (2003)
Height: 5' 7"
2 time Olympic Champion (2008, 2012)
2 time World Amateur Champion (2009, 2011). Won the silver medal in 2007.
European Amateur Champion (2008)
I'm not going to do a poll to pick a winner of a future fight between the two for three reasons:
1/ Most people will pick Rigo because he is proven as a pro and is popular on this site.
2/ Lomachenko has not yet turned pro and is not very well known by most pro boxing fans.
3/ I haven't worked out how to use the poll option yet.