Simple as that: Lomachenko forces Walters to quit after seven
After seven full rounds of being outboxed and outclassed, Nicholas Walters became undone and, after telling referee Tony Weeks he had enough before the eighth round could commence, WBO junior lightweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko earned a TKO victory Saturday night. The fight was the main event of a Top Rank Promotions card at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada, broadcast live on HBO.
With the camera in his corner after round six, Walters sat slumped on his stool, his cornermen not tending to a beaten face or laying out a specific game plan but trying to console a mentally beaten man. In those precedent six rounds, Walters still hadn’t gathered any rhythm and that was in stark contrast to his counterpart, whose combinations and footwork were all working in perfect unison. Walters, Montego Bay, Jamaica, was stuck in the feeling-out process through six listless rounds and the heavy hands he possessed were hesitant.
Lomachenko, the two-time Olympic gold medalist, was in cruise control. After establishing a pumping jab, he began to throw lead lefts as early as the second round and the Ukrainian’s lateral movement made it hard enough for Walters to make eye contact, let alone use his power right hand. It almost looked too easy for Lomachenko and, in a weird moment in the last five seconds of the fifth round, both fighters stood there in the middle of the ring with their hands down, seemingly just waiting for the bell to ring.
It was a match-up that earned unanimous approval but the competition that was expected never came to fruition and that was never more apparent than in the seventh round.
Lomachenko, 7-1 (5), put together a highlight reel of combinations within the last three minutes of the fight. Walters was perplexed, fighting and pivoting off his back foot. As Lomachenko continued to shift his feet sideways, mid-combo, Walters didn’t know where to turn or how to counter the always-moving Lomachenko. Walters was also forced backward, at times, and his chin was left up in the air and for the taking. Lomachenko tagged it aplenty and, while he didn’t seriously buckle Walters’ legs at any point, the Jamaican had the look of not knowing from where the next punch was coming.
To make the chess analogy, Lomachenko put Walters in check multiple times in that seventh round and it came off so easily, it looked like Vasyl enjoyed the environment. Walters, on the other hand, picked up the chess board, threw it against the wall and left the room after the round concluded.
Walters, 26-1-1 (21), tapped out in his first defeat and, in the post-fight interview, opined about not being active leading up to this fight. It was nothing those in attendance wanted to hear and they rightfully booed the Jamaican, who they hoped could test one of the best amateur boxers of his generation.
Lomachenko, who defended his WBO junior lightweight title for the first time in this win, was nonchalant after the easy victory. While the opponent he chose was wasn’t the man everyone made him out to be, Lomachenko breezed through the interview before proclaiming a goal of becoming the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.