Lomachenko, Rigondeaux, and Why The Jackal Quit

By Paul Magno on December 10, 2017
Lomachenko, Rigondeaux, and Why The Jackal Quit
Rigondeaux began to feel the weighty shame of being bamboozled. (Adam Hunger/AP)

A great fighter can handle being beaten in the ring, but it’s humiliating to be duped into a bad spot by politics and business…

I tried to be a diplomat and ambassador for the sport. When people asked me about Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux, I had a nice, non-confrontational (for me) answer to give—Rigondeaux would have to be Superman to win.

It was sad to see so many hardcore boxing fans so amped up for a fight where the outcome was pretty much pre-determined. I usually enjoy bursting bubbles, but not this time—Boxing fans wanted so badly to believe in this one. So, I didn’t shake them back to reality too violently. But anyone “smart” in the game knew what was up.

There was no way that Bob Arum and the Top Rank crew would’ve signed off on this one if they felt that there was even the slightest sense that Rigondeaux could beat and/or embarrass their prized Loma.

In a sense, Lomachenko-Rigondeaux was every bit as much of a fix as anything done behind closed doors involving shady characters making shady decisions behind the scenes.

As I wrote over at Fighthype.com:

“And the masterful thing about this Lomachenko-Rigondeaux fix was that it was done in plain view and sold so expertly that people—even some usually smart boxing people—were actually debating that the pre-arranged patsy would take the win.

“No, this fight wasn’t made by Top Rank promotions with the idea that Rigondeaux would win or even could win. But the cult of Guillermo Rigondeaux fandom is so intense, so dedicated, that even if the Cuban master boxer were to be dumped into a shark tank for a tussle with a raging Great White, many of the Rigo true believers would be arguing to the very end that “The Jackal” shouldn’t ever be counted out of a fight. Very few other fighters could be sold as a viable opponent in a “dream fight” like we just saw, given the longshot chances of actually winning.”

Rigondeaux fans (and boxing purists in general) were the perfect patsies for a con like this. A fight pitting a semi-retired Manny Pacquiao against Gennady Golovkin or a fully retired Bernard Hopkins against Anthony Joshua would be laughed off as hopeless overreaches or as cynical matchmaking in favor of the bigger, younger fighter.

Coming into Saturday, Lomachenko had significant advantages in height, weight, age, and activity. He also had the “home field” advantage in the sense that he was an Arum fighter fighting on an Arum card against someone, a one-time Arum client, who has most definitely been on the aged promoter’s enemy list since he embarrassed one-time Top Rank hot property Nonito Donaire in 2013.

It practically would’ve taken a shift in the time-space continuum for Rigondeaux to upset plans and come away with a victory Saturday night. And one gets the feeling that Rigondeaux, himself, began to fully realize that reality just a few minutes into the fight.

Outstanding boxing writer and former fight manager Charles Farrell, in his most recent piece for Deadspin, drew a comparison between Rigondeaux and Roberto Duran when it comes to personality type. And this comparison is especially brilliant after seeing the way Saturday’s fight ended.

Rigondeaux, much like Duran in the infamous “No Mas” rematch against Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980, chose to quit rather than be embarrassed and humiliated for the remainder of the contest. And possibly also like Duran, Rigondeaux, once falling behind as expected, began to feel the weighty shame of being bamboozled into taking a fight with odds so heavily stacked against him.

“Screw it…this is not even a fair fight….I’m done.”

Those are the thoughts of a proud warrior saving face after taking a fight he shouldn’t have taken. A great fighter can handle being beaten in the ring, but it’s humiliating to be duped into a bad spot by politics and business.

Lomachenko is a truly great fighter. None of this should in any way diminish what he can do in the ring. He’s the best fighter at 130-135, with the possible exception of Mikey Garcia (who may or may not be headed back to lightweight). But Lomachenko beating Rigondeaux proved about as much as Gennady Golovkin would prove by beating up Manny Pacquiao at 160.

As for Rigondeaux, it’s sad that he had to stretch himself so far for a main stage payday. It’s even sadder that he may now carry with him the black label of being a “quitter.”

Waving off a game played with a stacked deck is not quitting as much as it is waking up and realizing the folly of pushing forward when there was never really anywhere to go in the first place.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Koolz 07:07am, 12/12/2017


    She says it as it is!!  stars at 10:00

  2. Koolz 06:34am, 12/12/2017

    That was my fourth time watching this and God Damn that Foot work like water!!!

    let’s see this Rigo fight.

    Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Hisashi Amagasa

    Rigo really was never ready for Loma.


  3. Koolz 05:58am, 12/12/2017


    Let us, shall we?  watch it again.

  4. raxman 10:36pm, 12/11/2017

    I didn’t think for a minute that RIgo could win, however I thought he’d have a crack, and yet after the 3rd round all the folks I was watching with were talking about was why RIgo couldn’t pull the trigger on his left hand. At the time we thought it was age.
    Re watching the fight, neither throws their back hand for the first couple of rounds although Rigo did let a few go,. At the end of the second RIgondeaux grabbed Lomachenko by the back of the neck with his right hand and drilled 3 left hands - high-low-high - I’m tipping he did damage his hand right there as after he would only feint with it. I think for the next 4 rounds he threw 1 left to the body and that was it. Now I know Lomo is a freak and he could take Rigo’s left away from him for large portions of a fight, but there were times when he could of let it go and didn’t. So for me, the hand excuse actually made sense

  5. fan 10:38am, 12/11/2017

    Loma is the punch per punch king.

  6. Gogea Mitu 10:05am, 12/11/2017

    Forget Frampton he’s not as dumb as he looks so that’s not going to happen any time soon….just one step up the ladder at Featherweight there are money fights to be had for Rigo. The only problem is that there are guys there that will bite down hard and dig in and Rigo will get KTFO!

  7. Steve 09:50am, 12/11/2017

    This writer is a big cynic and cry baby. I bet this writer thought Rigo was the boxing God and just hates Arum, (we all do) and wants to justify his boy getting vaporized and quitting. Rafel Marques and Israel Vasquez along with Gatti (RIP) and M Ward among many many others dead or alive probably have/would have a hard time keeping a straight face.

    What a disrespectful article.

    Loma is TBE. And he will have to beat GGG to prove it to the cry baby contingent.

  8. teddy 05:54am, 12/11/2017

    Boxing is NOT a real sport. It’s the most corrupted sport in general.
    I rooted for Loma and I knew for sure he was gonna win because his career plan is carefully being laid out for him and the fact that he’s under Bob The Snake Arum.  Not to take anything away from Loma, he is IMO currently P4P king. But Rigo was in it for a pay day. Not surprise Rigo quit. Loma is very calculated. He’s on a league of his own and I don’t think anybody in his weight class can beat him.

  9. tlig 02:03am, 12/11/2017

    I seem to recall this same writer being as intrigued by this matchup as the rest of us. I find his Monday-Morning-Quarterbacking as little distasteful so I have taken the liberty of quoting from one of the very articles he references here (Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux: Super Man vs. Superman). Here are some of his words—” And that’s why Lomachenko-Rigondeaux is still so appealing, even after one understands that the deck is stacked in Lomachenko’s favor.

    It’s not often that we get two such talents matched up against one another these days without having to suffer through years of “marination” via media manipulation. In just this one case, it may be alright to shut one’s critical inner voice a bit and enjoy the fight, if not necessarily the result.”

  10. Rod Biagtan 09:14pm, 12/10/2017

    To me, it seemed more like Rigo was outboxed, outsmarted, and outclassed but I didn’t think he was outsized. I realize that Loma said Rigo was fighting out of his weight class but I think he was being gracious by giving him an out.

    After watching the fight twice, I didn’t think Loma used his size to beat Rigo. What Loma did use plenty of were his feet, his feints, jabs, smarts, and pressure to test Rigo’s will. Rigo’s will was lacking and thus why he quit.

  11. Gogea Mitu 05:00pm, 12/10/2017

    He quit because he couldn’t execute anything…..not a Goddamned thing….Loma wouldn’t even let him cheat because he had that base covered too. We’re all sinners and quitters and have fallen short so no one is judging him….just don’t try to justify by writing that he had an awakening’epiphany which surely must have occurred in the the second round when Loma started abusing him that the deck really was stacked against him big time! He signed the contract and he will cash that check and then he will drop back down and take up where he left off….he’ll do just fine thank you!

  12. Koolz 04:34pm, 12/10/2017

    I already explained why he quit.  Teddy even gets it.  It’s styles.
    You have a pro athlete who comes forward with amazing foot work and speed against someone that is a counter puncher.  Loma could box rings around Rigo all night in the same weight class it isn’t going to matter, Loma still would win.