After months and months of waiting for it to come to fruition, junior lighweights Vasyl Lomachenko of the Ukraine and Jamaican Nicholas Walters will finally square off for Lomachenko's WBO 130 pound title in Las Vegas on November 29th to headline a boxing card for HBO.
Widely considered two of the top 3 or 4 contenders in the division, boxing fans have been clamoring for this matchup for quite some time and it appeared as if Nicholas "Axe Man" Walters had no intentions of actually stepping in the ring with the you and talented Ukranian standout. However he finally agreed to sign the contract on Tuesday, leading to what is one of if not the biggest fight to be made in the nearby divisions.
Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KO), is a 2-time Olympic gold medalist and potentially the most decorated amateur fighter in the history of the sport. He was set to face Walters earlier this year in June, however Walters was unhappy with the career-high payday being offered his way, as well as the weight at which the fight would be contested at. The Ukranian in turn decided to move up to junior lightweight to drag the WBO strap away from Roman "Rocky" Martinez on June 11th by way of a fabulous fifth round knockout. Lomachenko is one of the most feared boxers in all of the sport and will be a force within the 15 pound range from basically 125-140.
Walters (26-0-1, 21 KO), is a feared puncher and has a record that shows it, being unblemished aside from a December draw with Jason Sosa in which everyone watching seemed to feel the "Axe Man" had taken the victory quite handily. After winning a featherweight title in 2012, Walters defended his title three times in impressive fashion, however was overweight in his bout against Miguel Marriaga and stripped of the title in 2015. Now that the money issue has been resolved, it will be interesting to see how Walters can handle the consistent pressure and savvy ring presence of Lomachenko.
Both men come into the bout touting impressive resume's, with Lomachenko's lone loss coming in just his second professional bout, a close split decision loss to Orlando Salido for the WBO featherweight title. Lomachenko has recently been adding a knack for knocking out his opponents to his resume, while the "Axe Man" has made a living off of doing just that. While neither has ever strayed from a challenge, actually being two of the boxers more willing to accept a tough challenge, Walters and Lomachenko will be entering their toughest tests to date come Novermber 26. As Top Rank's Bob Arum, who promotes Lomachenko, put it, "unlike some fighters, who like to go easy once in a while, we look to get him the toughest possible guy out there to fight him because that is what he wants -- the toughest, most dangerous guys. In this case, it's Walters".
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