Promoter Bob Arum announced the pound-for-pound southpaw slicksters will meet at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, December 9.
Rigondeaux is jumping up two divisions – from super-bantamweight to super-featherweight – to challenge Lomachenko for his WBO belt in a clash of former double Olympic champions and according to former manager Gary Hyde, it’s a bad idea.
The list of fighters who have jumped up two weights to win world titles is a short one – Henry Armstrong, Roberto Duran, Roy Jones jr, Naoye Inoue and Adrien Broner are on it – and Hyde says the jump is too big for 37 year-old Rigondeaux.
The Cork businessman took Rigondeaux to the WBA and WBO super-bantamweight titles before they split a couple of years ago and said: “If I was still ‘Rigo’’s manager, this wouldn’t be happening.
“This is a big, big mistake.
“He can give Lomachenko problems, but he’s giving away too much.
“’Rigo’ is giving away weight and years to a fighter who’s very, very special – and much bigger as well.
“’Rigo’ can get down to 118lbs and all the time I managed him, I never knew him go above 128lbs.
“If Lomachenko was being sporting, he would say: ‘Let’s meet at 126lbs.’
“People are saying it’s a great, great fight and it is – if you support Lomachenko. ‘Rigo’ should not fight him.
“’Rigo’ has beaten so many Bob Arum fighters – and I think he wants his scalp.
“I remember Bob Arum telling me: ‘Nobody will ever beat ‘Rigo’ – and now he’s found someone who has a chance – but he’s two weight divisions bigger.
“If, God forbid, Lomachenko beats ‘Rigo’ easily, people will be saying it’s because he was too big and that’s why I’m saying the fight shouldn’t happen.
“If Lomachenko is that good, why doesn’t he jump to fight Terence Crawford? Because he’s too big, that’s why, and that’s why ‘Rigo’ shouldn’t jump up to fight Lomachenko.
“They will be talking about ‘Rigo’ for 100 years and I don’t want him to risk his legacy. He’s putting his legacy on the line for money. I’m hearing he’s getting paid $1 million and I think he’s panicking because he knows he hasn’t got long left.
“He wants a big fight and fighters like Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg have all gone up to 126lbs.
“But this isn’t like fighting Nonito Donaire, who was a hype job. Lomachenko is one of the very, very best out there.
“This is wrong.”
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