Top-rated pound-for-pound fighters and Olympic legends Vasily "Hi-Tech" Lomachenko and Guillermo "El Chacal" Rigondeaux will go mano a mano in a collision of world champions, Saturday, December 9, at the The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
This historic battle will mark the first time two-time Olympic gold medalists have fought each other professionally at the highest level. Lomachenko will be defending his WBO junior lightweight world title against the reigning WBA super bantamweight champion Rigondeaux. The fight, which will headline a spectacular all-action card, will be will be televised live and exclusively at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN App.
"This is the Big Apple's second-hottest ticket on the secondary market next to Bette Midler's Broadway smash, Hello Dolly!" said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, founder and CEO of Top Rank.
"The Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux title fight is a signature event in the sport of boxing. It matches the two greatest fighters in Olympic boxing facing off against each other. Never before in boxing history have two boxers, each the winner of two Olympic gold medals, faced each other in a professional boxing match."
“ESPN is excited to showcase this world championship event. For the first time ever, two-time Olympic gold medalists, Lomachenko and Rigondeaux, will go head-to-head and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the event to boxing fans across our platforms in English and Spanish,” said Burke Magnus, executive vice president of programming & scheduling, ESPN.
"It will be a big battle for boxing fans and boxing history," said Lomachenko. "This battle will open our maximum potential. It will be the best New Years present for boxing fanatics. Trust me on this one!"
"I am excited about Vasiliy stepping back in the ring before the year is over. It is a great fight for all boxing lovers and the fans from around the world who asked for it," said Egis Klimas, Lomachenko's manager. "It is a historic bout for boxing where for the first time, two boxers, two world champions, each holding two Olympic Gold medals, will meet in the professional ring. I am looking forward to seeing it."
“I’m thrilled to be part of this historic fight on ESPN because I’ve had my eye on fighting Vasyl Lomachenko for a long time,” said Rigondeaux. “I’m thankful that Roc Nation Sports and Top Rank made this fight happen and I can’t wait to make a statement on December 9 in New York City.
Weight classes don’t win fights – fighters do – and I look forward to delivering the best performance of my career, beating a fellow legendary Olympian in Lomachenko and solidifying my place as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of this era.”
“This fight against Vasyl Lomachenko is the marquee challenge that Guillermo has been coveting and we’re grateful for Roc Nation Sports’ hard work in making this a reality,” said Alex Bornote, Rigondeaux’s manager.
“Throughout Guillermo’s career, he has never backed down from any fighter or weight class restriction, so we’re very excited to get to work. It’s going to be a battle, but Guillermo will make Cuba, Miami and all of his fans worldwide proud when he beats Lomachenko on December 9.”
“There has never been a fight between two, two-time Olympic gold medal winners until now and Roc Nation Sports is thrilled to announce this unprecedented event with ESPN and Top Rank,” said Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy Michael R. Yormark.
“Boxing fans will have the rare opportunity to watch two of the best Olympians in boxing history fight for supremacy and there’s no doubt this fight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden will be one for the ages. Regardless of weight class, Rigondeaux is ready to deliver an unforgettable performance.”
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Roc Nation Sports and Madison Square Garden, tickets to the Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux world championship event sold out two months in advance! It is Lomachenko's second advance sellout in his past three fights. His April 8 title defense against former world champion Jason Sosa sold out the MGM National Harbor one month in prior to the event.