As bookmakers squeeze the odds of Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux cancelling themselves out on Saturday night, promoter Bob Arum believes his fighter won’t allow that to happen.
Lomachenko begins as -500 (2/9) favourite, whilst the Cuban can be found at +333 (10/3) but is pinched by some to score a unanimous decision. If Lomachenko is right, under 9.5 rounds may have some value, with this boxing guide from MyTopSportsBooks covering how round betting and other fight props work.
Rigondeaux has a history of gaining a rhythm and completely bamboozling his helpless opponents en route to racking up the rounds and silencing the arena, to varied criticism it must be noted.
The veteran has never had a good reputation of being in exciting contests, whereas Lomachenko is currently enjoying a run of spectacular stoppages and unfathomable combination videos in contrast.
As the pair prepare to lay it all on the line this weekend, Arum moved to reassure those with tickets and those watching at home that Lomachenko will be on his guard to keep the action flowing for the duration.
“Let me give you my expert opinion because I’ve been around the sport for a lot of years. What you are looking at here are two different schools of boxing. The Cuban and the Eastern European,” said Arum.
“Let me start with Vasyl Lomachenko – he is very technically proficient and very good and when he is fighting he is very defensive minded, looks for an opening, but always with the goal in mind, not only to win a points victory but also to hurt, or knockout or make his opponent quit.
“Watch every one of his fights – it’s always designed, very crowd pleasing because it gives the crowd – the crowd gets into it – because he is looking to destroy his opponent. That’s pretty much the Eastern European style.
“The Cuban style is different, they pile up points then they stink you out till the end of the fight because all they care about is winning the fight on points.
“So in this fight, Vasyl will not allow Rigondeaux to pile up points, so Rigondeaux, to win the fight, will have to be more aggressive than he wants to be. When you watch Rigondeaux fight you will see a fantastic fighter who is aggressive, piles up points and then stinks you out by just coasting to victory. That’s the Cuban style – just win, brother. Win by the points -- a different style form the Easter European.
“I think this is going to be a very, very good fight, a very interesting fight because Rigondeaux is not going to be able to gut out a big lead on points on Vasyl, therefore he will have to fight the entire fight as long as it goes to win a victory.
“Rigondeaux is a very, very good fighter. He is one of the best fighters that I have seen. He is a terrific fighter. Vasyl is not only a great fighter – he is the best fighter since the young Muhammad Ali.
“He will not seed the ground early, therefore Rigondeaux will have to fight the entire fight in order to win and therefore I see a very, very exciting fight and you are going to see the best of these guys.”
A win for either - depending on the finish, could mean a considerable boost up the rankings and jeopardise Kazakh puncher Gennady Golovkin’s current stranglehold on the pound for pound crown.