Lomachenko-Walters did not live up to expectations. Whenever there are multiple reasons, it is usually the case that the right answer is the combination of those reasons. For one, as stated in the preview, until someone can offset Lomachenko’s speed in some capacity, no one should expect for his fights to be competitive. Secondly, business interfered with the sport: Nicholas Walters (26-1-1, 21 KO) was not regarded as marketable by HBO or Top Rank, Inc. As such, Walters was not given television dates and remained inactive for nearly a year before facing Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KO). That is truly unacceptable and waters down marquee match ups from the perspective of regular viewers.
Not quite an aside, a correction must be made to what was originally stated in the preview – that Walters may have gotten a better deal during the second round of negotiations to fight Vasyl Lomachenko. That apparently was not the case. Rather, Vasyl Lomachenko received more money while Walters received even less than the original offer, $1 million to 300K respectively. One must assume that there was some coercion involved in Walters taking this fight.
Lomachenko won every round in the same manner, incrementally increasing his output by round. As is commonly done, Lomachenko circled away from Walters’ right hand while using the jab. After several jabs, he would follow with one or more left hands. If Walters had missed, he would counter with one or more straight left hands.
Walters hindered his own mobility by standing with an exceptionally wide stance. In his stance, Walters focused more on being a counter puncher. He was not even active with a jab despite his enormous reach advantage. All it took was a mere step from Lomachenko and he had already more than canceled out Walters’ reach advantage.
He had failed to work the body, Walters. He head hunted with wide circular hooks that Lomachenko had no problems slipping. But what made Walters finally quit was that in round six Lomachenko was landing at will as he had always done, but with more frequency and with harder shots. Had Walters continued, he would have been target practice for the remaining six rounds.
Before round seven began, Walters told referee Tony Weeks that he did not want to continue, giving Lomachenko a TKO victory.
Callous and self-centered as they are, the public is expressing its condescension of Walters’ decision to quit. Quitting was in fact the right thing to do. It was not simply that Walters was losing, he had not won a single round, it was mathematically impossible for him to win a decision, and he was not able to land any punches with enough frequency to think that getting a miracle knockout was reasonably possible. Headlines already abound: Nicholas Walters “schooled,” “outclassed,” “embarrassed.” No need for another six rounds of that at the risk of getting hurt from an accumulation of blows to the head.
In the post-fight interview with Max Kellerman, Lomachenko stated that he would like to fight Francisco Vargas next. I am not a believer in thinking that fight would be worth watching. Once again, Lomachenko will only be in a competitive fight when he fights opponents who are better equipped to handle his speed.
In the best case, Yuriorkis Gamboa (25-1, 17 KO) will be given three tuneups (because of his long lay off) before facing Lomachenko at 130 pounds. Lomachenko has also expressed a willingness to fight Manny Pacquiao at 135 pounds. Given the weight issue for the Pacquiao fight, another possible opponent at 135 is Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KO).