It may not receive the same kind of pre-fight hype as Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin or Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko, but Saturday night’s battle between Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux for the former’s WBO junior lightweight title has a very real chance to produce the best fight of 2017.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch:
Live Stream Info
The main fight card is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN. That means you can watch a live stream via WatchESPN if you have a cable log-in, but if you don’t have cable, you can watch the fight online, on your phone or on another streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch tonight’s fight for free:
DirecTV Now: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are included in all four channel packages. It comes with a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get $25 off your first month if you enter promo code “BDAY2017”. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are all included in the “Sling Orange” package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the Sling website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
PlayStation Vue: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are part of every bundle. You can sign up for a free 5-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the PS Vue website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the PlayStation Vue app
Also note: You can also watch on your computer via the WatchESPN website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. When you’re asked to verify your cable provider, you’ll just use your DirecTV Now, Sling TV or PS Vue credentials to sign in
Though he only has 10 professional fights under his belt, Lomachenko has already beaten a handful of premier opponents, captured two world titles and made six successful defenses. Similarly, Rigondeaux has a relatively low number of professional bouts (17) for being 37, but he’s undefeated and owns his own handful of world titles. They’ve each won a pair of Olympic gold medals, they’re regarded as the two most skilled boxers in the world, and one could make a strong argument that this fight is not just for the junior lightweight title–it’s for the world pound-for-pound throne.
“I hate to say it, but I’ve got to be honest with you and tell it how I call it,” said future boxing Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr. “To me, on paper, this is the best professional fight that has ever been made.”
It seems like massive hyperbole at first, but as CBS Sports’ Brian Campbell excellently points out, there’s no real reason for Jones to exaggerate. As an analyst for HBO, the 48-year-old legend has no incentive to hype a fight that will be broadcast on ESPN. And he had plenty more to say:
You’ve got two guys that have two gold medals. We have enough of a hard time getting one guy and one other guy with a gold medal in the ring. We’ve got two guys with two gold medals. Almost one thousand amateur fights between them and probably a handful — you can count on two hands — how many [amateur] losses there have been between them. That is incredible.
Lomachenko and Rigondeaux may not have a lot of professional fights between them, but they’re still undoubtedly two of the most decorated fighters in the sport, and two of the most dangerous fighters from a technical aspect. In terms of quality of a fight, you would be hard-pressed to dream up a better current matchup than this one.
Even if you’re just a casual boxing fan, or you aren’t even a boxing fan but you like to witness sports history, this is a matchup you absolutely cannot miss.