Walters finally gets shot at Lomachenko
Clash in Las Vegas on November 26
T TOOK some time to happen, but I will definitely be fighting Lomachenko in November,” former World Boxing Association (WBA) Featherweight Super Champion Nicholas ‘The Axe Man’ Walters told The Gleaner yesterday.
Walters confirmed that he and Ukranian Vasyl ‘Hi-Tech’ Lomachenko, will clash on November 26 at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Super Featherweight title.
The fight has been on the radar for some time, and Bob Arum, from promotion company Top Rank, made an effort to get both men to fight last June 11, for Lomachenko’s WBO featherweight title. It did not happen then because Walters was adamant that he wanted US$1 million as his purse for the fight.
Arum refused, saying that based on the budget he had to work with from cable giants HBO, he could not afford to pay Walters that much and offered Nicholas ‘The Axeman’ Walters him US$550,000 instead, which Walters refused.
Lomachenko went on to fight Roman Martínez on the June date for the WBO super featherweight title held by Martínez and scored a fifth-round knockout, to make himself the fastest two-division champion in boxing history. He accomplished the feat in seven fights to pip Naoya Inoue, who did it in eight fights.
NOW SET TO HAPPEN
Boxing fans kept clamouring for Walters and Lomachenko to fight, however, and Arum stated earlier this week that based on the amount that HBO had agreed to put into the fight, it could now happen.
Walters said yesterday that there were a few minor details to be worked out but declared that he was looking forward to the contest.
“We have an agreement, and I am going to fight the boxer who I most want to fight. Lomachenko believes that he is the best at 130, and I know that I am the best, so let’s get it on and see who is right,” he declared.
“I only want to fight the best opponent, and right now, he is that person. He is a two-time Olympic and World amateur champion as well as a twodivision professional champion. When I beat him, then I will certainly be recognised as the best. That is what I want to make happen in November,” Walters added.
Walters had his last fight on December 19 last year against Jason Sosa in Verona, New York, a fight that was judged to be a draw. He stated that he was very unhappy with that decision and believed that he clearly had won.
“Not having had a fight since last year, I am hungry and ready. This could be the greatest fight of my career,” said Walters.
Walters goes in with a 26-0-1 record, while Lomachenko is 6-1-0. Lomachenko, however, also has a 396-1 amateur record and a 6-0 semi-professional record. He won the WBO featherweight title in his third professional fight, and this was against American Gary Russell Jr. Beating Martinez in June, in his seventh pro fight, gave him the WBO Super Featherweight title and the record.