Clash of the amateur boxing titans moves closer

AFP

Macau (Macau) (AFP) - A professional world title showdown between the two greatest amateur boxers of all time -- Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux -- is a step closer to being finalised, according to Top Rank veteran promoter Bob Arum.

The 83-year-old Arum, in Macau to promote Saturday's International Boxing Federation junior welterweight world title fight between Ik Yang and Cesar Cuenca, said he would be able to reveal more once he returned to the US from the southern Chinese city next week, adding: "There is a good chance of it happening."

Olympic champion in 2008 and 2012, Lomachenko of Ukraine lost only once in a fabled 500-fight amateur career and is the current World Boxing Organisation (WBO) featherweight champion, having won the title in just his third professional fight and successfully defended it twice.

Cuba's Rigondeaux was an amateur icon who also won two Olympic titles (2004 and 2008) in a 475-fight career before defecting to the US in 2009. He is currently the undefeated WBO and World Boxing Association super bantamweight champion with a 15-0 record.

"I’'ve got to get back and put everything together, but I'd like to do that fight," Arum said on the sidelines of the weigh-in for Saturday's card. "It would be a sensational fight."

Lomachenko and Rigondeaux both featured separately on previous Arum-promoted boxing cards in Macau last year, but Arum had disappointing news for Asian fight fans thinking they may have a chance to witness the clash of the two amateur titans turned professional world champions in Macau.

Arum said the fight would almost certainly be staged either in Chicago or in the cash-rich city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on a card also featuring a super bantamweight world title showdown between Filipino five-weight champion Nonito Donaire and British rising star Scott Quigg.

"I will know about Dubai when I get back to the States," said Arum. "A delegation from Dubai is meeting me. There has been a lot of good talk, but whether it’s realistic? I’ll know next week."

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