Lomachenko’s manager sees no point in Nicholas Walters fight now after he lost his title
By Dan Ambrose: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has his work cut out for him in trying to convince WBO featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko to defend his title against former WBA featherweight champion Nicholas Walters (26-0, 21 KOs) now that the 29-year-old Walters no longer is the WBA title holder after losing his belt on the scales last Friday when he failed to make weight for his fight against Miguel Marriaga (20-1, 18 KOs) last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Walters came in one pound over the limit at 127 pounds. The fight still went ahead, but without Walters’ WBA title in his possession, as it was stripped from him after he failed to make the weight.
What was really a bad sign for Walters is how he rehydrated up in weight 18 pounds to come into the fight at 145 pounds as a welterweight. Walters rehydrated four divisions above his weight class of featherweight, which begs the question what is a fighter of Walters’ size doing melting down to 126 to fight featherweights instead of fighting at welterweight against guys his own size? It’s really troubling and quite sad.
Not surprisingly, Lomachenko’s manager Egis Klimas sees no point in matching Lomachenko with Walters now, because a lot of the interest in the fight is now lost given that Walters no longer has the WBA featherweight title, and might not even be able to make the weight class any longer now that he’s put on a lot of size.
Walters has always been huge for the featherweight division, but it’s to the point where Walters is almost a junior middleweight in size. Had Walters put on three more pounds, he would have come into the fight against Marriaga at 148, which is at junior middleweight.
“He’s not the champion anymore,” Lomachenko’s manager Klimas said via esnewsreporting. “Why do we want him? For what? What reason?”
I agree with Klimas. There’s no point in having Lomachenko fight Walters if he doesn’t have a world title in his possession any longer. Besides that, you just never know if Walters will be able to make the featherweight limit now, and I think the last thing Lomachenko wants is to fight another guy who is way over the limit. He did that in his fight against Orlando Salido in March 2014, and Lomachenko ended up losing that fight to the bigger Salido, who was huge compared to Lomachenlo after he rehydrated up in weight and looked like a welterweight.
Lomachenko would be better off facing actual featherweights that can make the weight, and who don’t rehydrate into the 140s.
There’s no point in Lomachenko fighting a welterweight or a junior middleweight sized fighter. Unless there were strict rehydration limits that kept Walters from weighing any more than 135 for the fight with Lomachenko, I don’t think the fight should take place. There’s too much potential of Lomachenko being out-weighed by a considerable margin in a fight against Walters. I think Walters needs to move up to light welterweight or welterweight and campaign against guys his own size. It would be interesting to see Walters facing guys like Lucas Matthysse and Lamont Peterson.
Walters defeated Marriaga last by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores of 118-109, 117-110 and 119-108. Walters knocked Marriaga to the canvas in the 9th round. Marriga weighed 135 pounds for the fight compared to Walters’ 145.