At the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, Lomachenko vs Walters wasn’t quite the rumble boxing fans had hoped for. But there was a clear-cut victor at least, that being Vasyl Lomachenko. The Ukranian standout, who made the first defense of his WBO Junior Lightweight title, dominated and ultimately beat the spirit out of Nicholas Walters, scoring a 7th round retirement. Boxing Base had it a shutout at 70-63 going into the 8th.
Lomachenko now rises to 7 wins, 1 defeat, 5 knockouts, while a deflated Walters now picks up his first blemish, reducing to 26 wins, 1 defeat, 1 draw, 21 knockouts.
For the first four to five rounds this was a competitive fight. Both boxers were poised and highly focused, but it was Lomachenko who was clearly bagging the rounds. He was the ring general here, stamping his superior authority thanks to some of the best footwork and complete tool sets you’ll see in the modern game. The 6th stanza saw Lomachenko raise the tempo a notch, with the action soon to peak in an electric 7th. There the Ukranian picked Walters apart, darting in and out, pivoting and spinning his man, and landing with zipping flush punches.
Walters seemed to be more bewildered than hurt so, naturally, nobody could have expected his ‘no mas’ moment that followed the round. The Vegas crowd immediately voiced their strong distaste, of course. And, to be fair, it’s hard to blame them. Walters, who had entered the ring undefeated and a respected hard-hitting former Featherweight champion, hadn’t been beaten up or punished particularly bad. They had paid to see a fight.
This is a hard sport, on the other hand, and so you’ve got to respect Walters’ decision when it’s all said and done. The man was in over his head tonight, that’s fair enough. But when a fighter throws in the towel by their own admission – without injuries or having received notable punishment – it would be nice to see him at least accept defeat and congratulate the better man, right? Well, unfortunately that didn’t happen post fight. Instead, Walters blamed “inactivity” as the reason for the “no mas”. Walters has been out the ring for a while, sure, but 11 months isn’t breaking any records exactly.
But it happened. Lomachenko vs Walters is over. There wasn’t to be a satisfying outcome, but we do know one thing: Lomachenko is looking exceptional right now, and he’s apparently looking to bypass tune-ups in favour of top-level opponents. We hear that an awful lot from fighters these days, but this is a guy who is so far actually following through on that promise. And if the big names keep showing up for Lomachenko in 2017, we could be about to see some major reshaping of the 130, 135, maybe even 140 lb scenes.
Lomachenko vs Walters: Undercard
- Abel Sanchez-trained Konstantin Ponomarev (31-0, 13 KO) had no problems dominating Silverio Ortiz (35-19, 17 KO) in the chief support. The rising Welterweight extended his unbeaten run following telling scores of 80-72 across the board. Ortiz, a well-travelled veteran, was tough as they come, but quickly became vastly overmatched courtesy of a very busy, polished-looking Ponomarev.
- Trevor McCumby (24-0, 19 KO) smashed through gatekeeper Donovan George (25-7-2, 22 KO), unloading with vicious intent from the first bell. The rising Light Heavyweight scored two knockdowns from crunching right hands, with the referee mercilessly calling off the slaughter shortly after the second.
- Welterweight upstart Juan Ruiz (18-0, 11 KO) demolished Fernando Carcamao (21-8, 16 KO) in the opener, dropping his man twice en route to a stoppage victory.
What are your thoughts on this weekend’s boxing headliner Lomachenko vs Walters? And where would you like to see both fighters head next?