Saturday’s junior lightweight title bout between Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux is so historically unique as the first professional boxing game to feature fighters who have each won multiple Olympic gold medals, which placing it into appropriate context hasn’t been easy. In many ways, it’s a Super Bowl of the lower weight classes, featuring a rising star in Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs), who captured world titles in two weight divisions in just his seventh pro fight, along with the eldest Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs), among the best defensive geniuses in history. You can just as easily call it a showdown for current pound-for-pound supremacy. Heck, Roy Jones Jr. went as far as saying it’s the best battle on paper that pro boxing has ever seen. But for its ravenous appeal to hard-core fans within the very niche world of the sport science, it was difficult to imagine it would ever connect to a greater audience outside that. Although Lomachenko is becoming close, neither fighter talks English full-time in interviews and have styles which are heavier on technical wizardry (Rigondeaux has been regularly deemed boring) compared to bone-crushing knockouts. However, something happened along the way to challenge this theory. First, mythical promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank announced a Student agreement with ESPN earlier this year, which comprised Lomachenko’s August success over Miguel Marriaga, and secured prime real estate for the struggle (9 p.m. ET) immediately after the Heisman Trophy ceremony. Secondly, the fight sold out the 5,500-seat Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York two weeks ahead of time. The end result has been a continuous flow of crossover buzz to get a struggle pairing a fighter (Ukraine’s Lomachenko) who might already be the best in the game after only 10 pro bouts against maybe the only person equipped to disarm him (Cuba’s Rigondeaux). The occasionally gruff Arum, who turns 86 on Friday and enters the 30th occasion he has encouraged at”The World’s Most Famous Arena” during 50-plus years at boxing, had to admit he had been pleasantly surprised by how the struggle was received. “I was gratified by the attention and the way this has captured, but know that I’m involved with boxing, so I love boxing, and that I felt constantly that this struggle is worthy of the attention that it, in actuality, has received,” Arum told CBS Sports with this week’s”In This Corner” podcast. “Was I assured of the coming ? No. It is something that is well merited. It is not a fluke that it’s getting the attention that it is getting due to the participants. “It’s historic. These are two of the greatest amateur fighters in boxing history and also the fact that they are going at each other is something really fantastic. I am honored to market this battle.” Read more here: http://tsllibya.com/?p=17971