WBO World super featherweight title holder Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs) will box Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs) at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on November 26.
According to ESPN.com, after multiple failed attempts to bring the 130-pounders together, Lomachenko and Walters have finally agreed on a purse a date and a place.
Lomachenko, a two-time olympic gold medalist and two-division world champion, has made a name for himself in the professional ranks by seeking the biggest fights in his division regardless of the danger that an opponent may pose- and by looking sensational in victory as well as defeat.
The Walters fight will be Lomachenko’s eighth, seven of those were contested for a world title, and four were fought against current or former world champions.
He is the antithesis of the modern boxing champion, eschewing the low-risk/high-reward model that is oh-so-trendy these days, for any and all shots at glory and greatness.
“That’s all I want,” said Lomachenko to Boxing News. “I just want to get the big names in my career.”
In their first attempt to broker the fight earlier this year, Lomachenko offered $300,000 out of his own purse to Walters, provided that the hard-hitting Jamaican emerged from their bout victorious. His rival hemmed, hawed, and eventually walked away from a payday that would have been, by a large margin, the largest of his career.
Lomachenko moved on, passing the time by obliterating Roman Martinez in under five rounds this past June – something Ricky Burns, Mikey Garcia, and Orlando Salido, twice, had been unable to do.
Walters, the former WBA World featherweight champion, acquired his world title by defeating Daulis Prescott in his home country of Jamaica in December of 2012. He defended the belt three times before losing it on the scales prior to his New York City debut against unbeaten Miguel Marriaga. In his last outing, he fought to a disputed majority draw last December against Jason Sosa.
During his title reign, Walters battered and knocked out a game Vic Darchinyan and handed Nonito Donaire his second defeat, sending the Filipino to the canvas twice and stopping him for the first time in his career.
Walters is a strong junior lightweight with knockout power in both hands. He is not a high-volume puncher, unlike Martinez and Salido. He picks his shots carefully, is a very accurate counterpuncher, and uses a stiff jab to establish the distance from where he can launch his vicious attack
Lomachenko will undoubtedly be the favorite when the two enter the ring on November 26th. As one of the finest boxers on the planet, he’s always the favorite.
That said, let us not forget the punches that have landed flush on the Ukrainian champion. There have been few that have truly found their mark in his three years as a professional. But they found their mark, nonetheless.
This is precisely why this fight is so intriguing and why boxing fans around the world have been clamoring for this matchup for over a year.
Despite the fact that Lomachenko is, by far, the superior boxer, Walters has the power to end the fight at any point with a well timed hook or his signature uppercut.
In the words of the eminent modern philosopher, Keith Thurman, in this sport, all it takes is “one time.”