Sig­na­ture win for Lo­machenko af­ter Wal­ters quits

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Ukraine’s Va­syl Lo­machenko re­tained his su­per feath­er­weight ti­tle with a seven round de­mo­li­tion Satur­day of Ja­maican Ni­cholas Wal­ters, whose cor­ner threw in the towel in be­tweens rounds telling the ref­eree “no mas.” The two-time Olympic gold medal win­ner Lo­machenko reg­is­tered the big­gest vic­tory of his ca­reer in dy­namic fash­ion as it was the sec­ond de­fense of his World Box­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tion ti­tle and just his eighth pro­fes­sional fight.

“He just stood there in one place which made it easy for me,” Lo­machenko said of Wal­ters.

He dom­i­nated the pre­vi­ously un­beaten Wal­ters from the open­ing bell, scor­ing at will by land­ing hard punches in the fi­nal round of the beat­down at the Cos­mopoli­tan in Las Vegas.

Wal­ters’ face showed signs of the pun­ish­ment, but it ap­peared that he could have con­tin­ued if he chose to.

Be­fore the start of the eighth round Wal­ters shot out of his cor­ner and told ref­eree Tony Weeks, “I don’t want to con­tinue.” The way the fight ended was rem­i­nis­cent of the his­toric 1980 re­match be­tween Pana­ma­nian Roberto Du­ran and Amer­i­can Sugar Ray Leonard, when Du­ran quit in the eighth round fa­mously telling the ref­eree “no mas” (“no more”).

This time it was Wal­ters’ Pana­ma­nian trainer Celso Chavez ut­ter­ing the words to Weeks. It was an em­bar­rass­ing first de­feat for Wal­ters, as his de­ci­sion to quit in the mid­dle of the fight dropped his record to 26-1-1 with 21 knock­outs.

Wal­ters blamed his poor per­for­mance on tak­ing a year off be­tween fights. “It wasn’t about quit­ting,” he said. “In the last round he caught me with good shots. I was hang­ing on just to sur­vive. It would be stupid to come out af­ter the last round.” With his vic­tory Lo­machenko - who com­piled an am­a­teur record of 396-1 with Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012 - is now 7-1 as a pro­fes­sional.

Lo­machenko cap­tured his first world ti­tle in June of 2014, dom­i­nat­ing for­mer US Olympian Gary Rus­sell to win his in his third pro bout. He matched Saen­sak Muang­surin’s record for fewest fights needed to win a world cham­pi­onship.

The only blem­ish on his pro record was a loss to Mex­ico’s Orlando Salido in Lo­machenko’s sec­ond pro­fes­sional fight, when the va­cant WBO feath­er­weight ti­tle on the line. Lo­machenko said af­ter the bout that he next wants to fight WBC su­per feath­er­weight cham­pion Fran­cisco Var­gas. Manny Pac­quiao has also been men­tioned as a pos­si­ble fu­ture op­po­nent. —AFP

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