Vasyl Lomachenko's next fight to come against unbeaten Guillermo Rigondeaux
The fight will be the first in boxing history between fighters who have each won two Olympic gold medals
We have boxing's next superfight. Junior lightweight champion and pound-for-pound elite Vasyl Lomachenko has agreed to a Dec. 9 return at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York that will mark a first in boxing history.
Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs) will defend his WBO 130-pound title against former 122-pound king Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs), who is moving up in weight. The bout will mark the first meeting in the professional ranks between fighters who have each won two Olympic gold medals.
The card will air on ESPN immediately after the Heisman Trophy presentation, Top Rank president Todd duBoef told Yahoo Sports on Thursday.
Rigondeaux, 36, is among the best defensive fighters (and subsequently most avoided) in boxing today. While he has been routinely criticized for his inactivity and inability to produce exciting fights, he remains one of the most technically brilliant fighters of this era.
But the former Cuban amateur star, who has long claimed 118 pound as his natural weight, will be moving up two weight classes to face Lomachenko, of Ukraine.
"Lomachenko really wanted the fight," duBoef said. "He has a voracious appetite to fight the best, and to fight the guys who people think are the most difficult fighters. He likes to challenge himself and this is a fight he has talked to us about for a while."
Lomachenko, 29, will be making the fourth defense of the junior lightweight belt he won by knocking out Roman Martinez in 2016. Lomachenko won his first world title in just his third pro fight and became the quickest fighter to win titles at two weight divisions when he did so in just his seventh bout.
Rigondeaux and Lomachenko are among a group of just 13 men and two women (Claressa Shields and Nicola Adams) to have won two Olympic gold medals. Only three man have done so three times -- Teofilo Stevenson and Felix Savon of Cuba and Laszlo Papp of Hungary.
"This is the first time to the best of my knowledge in the history of boxing that two guys who have won two Olympic gold medals are going to fight each other," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. "That's a landmark. I'm being honest. I'm not saying I'm so happy to do this thing because it's going to be the greatest fight since Ali-Frazier III. What intrigues me is that it is a legacy fight.
"It's kind of like having done the last fight in old Yankee Stadium, [Muhammad] Ali-[Ken] Norton and then the first one in new Yankee Stadium with [Miguel] Cotto and [Yuri] Foreman. That's a landmark and those are historic things to have under your belt. Given this is something that has never happened in boxing, when the historians write about boxing years and years from now, this is going to be a fight they mention."
Rigondeaux was formerly promoted by Arum, who constantly criticized his lack of excitement, including moments after the Cuban's breakthrough victory over Nonito Donaire in 2013.
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