On Saturday, December 9, 2017, a pure boxing fans dream will become reality as arguably the two most skilled technicians in the game square off in a highly-antcipated clash live on ESPN.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs) will square off against two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) from The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

With little promotional push, tickets for the fight quickly sold out so it’s obviously a scrap that people want to see. But, according to Boxing Scene, Lomachenko doesn’t seem all that confident that a victory will silence his critics.

“[Rigondeaux] is shorter and smaller than I am. No matter how I will lead this fight, I will not win anything in the eyes of the critics,
said Lomachenko.” “In the eyes of the haters after the fight they will say, ‘Well, who cares if he won [he’s bigger]’.”

Indeed, many people believe that Rigondeaux moving from 122 pounds all the way up to 130 pounds will simply be too much of an advantage for Lomachenko.

But if you ask Rigondeaux, he doesn’t want to hear any excuses regardless of the outcome.

Rigondeaux has been petitioning for this fight for quite some time, but the reality of it actually taking place seemed to be dwindling as Lomachenko expressed interest in continuing to move up in weight.

But on December 9, Rigo–and many boxing fans–will get their wish as Loma-Rigo finally becomes a reality.

“I will try to win colorfully and brightly. I will be boxing my own style. I will be trying and working hard to simply squash him,” said Lomachenko.

If Lomachenko does defeat Rigondeaux, he wants to continue to face big names (not only in terms of popularity but also in terms of size), which he feels will help solidify him as boxing’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter.

“[To get to number one] the fights I need to have are with Mikey Garcia, Jorge Linares and probably Miguel Berchelt,” said Lomachenko.

Header photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank