Lomachenko eyeing unification against Vargas
November 27, 2016
The fight went just about how he predicted it would earlier this week when he said Walters would only give him four tough rounds. The first five rounds of the fight were relatively boring. Lomachenko was controlling the action but wasn’t really trying to do anything extravagant.
The Ukrainian was landing just enough punches to make it clear that he was winning the first few rounds. The first and second were going to be pretty hard to score before Lomachenko turned it up in the last thirty seconds and made them a no brainer 10-9 round for him. His boxing IQ is off the charts. He knows exactly what he has to do to win, and does all the little things to make it possible.
In the sixth round you could tell that Lomachenko had Walters all figured out. Walters threw quite a few more punches in that round, but hardly any landed and you could tell he was getting frustrated. Everything he did Lomachenko was able to completely nullify at that point.
The seventh round was almost comical. Lots of people compared Lomachenko to a cat toying with its prey, and that’s exactly what it looked like. He was making Walters look pretty silly, and it looked like a KO would be coming soon. That’s when Walters told official Tony Weeks “No Mas,” and after the seventh round it was all over.
After the fight, Walters strangely told reporters “I didn’t quit.” He went on to say “It wasn’t about quitting. If you look at the last round, he caught me with some pretty good shots, and I was just holding on to survive the round. It would be stupid to come out after that last round.”
While I would agree that Walters probably didn’t have much of a chance at that point, I think he should have tried. At least come out there at let your hands go and see if you can connect with something big. He hardly tried to land a big shot all night. Walters is going to have a really hard time repairing his reputation after this one. I don’t think he’ll be on PPV for a long time.
Lomachenko was pretty harsh on Walters after the fight. He said “In the beginning he was saying he was a gladiator. He’s a warrior, he’s here to hurt people, he’s here to win. But after that, when he quit the fight, I don’t count him anymore. He’s [not] a fighter.”
Ouch! Apparently the two later talked in the dressing room, and Lomachenko spoke a little more kindly of Walters after this interaction. He said “I really don’t want to talk bad stuff about him because after the fight he stepped into my dressing room. He was very friendly. He explained why – what was going on. And [how] he tried to kind of like protect himself in the world. He was acting real gentlemanly, so I’m not gonna put any dirt onto his [grave] site.”
Now that he’s done with this disappointment of a fight, Lomachenko is thinking about what he wants to do next. He has said that he wants to rematch Orlando Salido previously, and Salido has said he would like to do a rematch as well. Dan Rafael of ESPN tweeted that Bob Arum of Top Rank, Lomachenko’s promoter, said he wants to do that fight as well. But after the Walters fight was over, Lomachenko said he wants a unification fight against Francisco Vargas who has the WBC super featherweight strap.
Unfortunately, Arum said that had no chance of happening. “If De La Hoya [of Golden Boy Promotions which promotes Vargas] wouldn’t let Canelo fight Golovkin, there’s no way in hell he’ll let Vargas fight Lomacheko.” My first reaction to that statement is that Arum just has different ideas for Lomachenko, but who knows. I don’t think you can equate GGG-Canelo to Lomachenko-Vargas.
So we’ll see what Lomachenko does next. Whatever he does, the eyes of the boxing world will certainly be on him. He looks like the next big boxing superstar.