Wal­ters fi­nally gets shot at Lo­machenko

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

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.

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