Nicholas Walters loses title on the scales for Marriaga fight
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum got some bad news on Friday with his fighter WBA Super World featherweight champion Nicholas Walters (25-0, 21 KOs) failing to make weight for his title defense on Saturday against #7 WBA Miguel Marriaga (20-0, 18 KOs) on HBO Championship Boxing from Madison Square Garden in New York.
Walters initially came in 1.4 pounds over the limit at 127.4 at the weigh-in. Walters was then given two hours to burn off the weight, but after 90 minutes, Walters came back and weighed in at 127 pounds. That was still one pound over the limit. As a result, Walters lost his WBA 126lb title. Marriaga has a chance to win the strap, as he came in at 125.2 pounds.
It appears that Walters didn’t put in a huge effort to take the weight off because he had to know that he was still over the limit once he was close to the 2 hour weight limit. Walters and his team may have opted to keep the extra weight on in order to just focus on winning the title rather than making weight, because it’s going to be a very difficult fight as it is for Walters. The last thing he needed was for him to come into the fight weight-drained.
At this point Arum has got a predicament on his hands for him setting up the Top Rank fight between Walters and WBO featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko later this year. Does Arum hold his breath and pray that Walters can make the featherweight division to put him in with Lomachenko, or does Arum make it a non-title fight with Lomachenko and Walters fighting at a catch-weight above the featherweight limit. Arum could also just move Walters up to super featherweight so that he can challenge the champions in that weight class such as Takashi Uchiyama or Roman Martinez. Those would be good fights.
I had a feeling that Walters would miss the weight for the featherweight division eventually because he’s a huge fighter for the weight class. Walters really should be fighting at super featherweight, but he’s been able to drain down to fight at featherweight and have a big advantage over his lighter opponents. But if Walters starts missing the weight each time he fights, then Arum is going to need to re-think the idea of keeping Walters at featherweight.
Official weighs for the card:
Nicholas Walters 127 vs. Miguel Marriaga 125.2
Felix Verdejo 133 vs. Ivan Najera 131.4
Sean Monaghan 175.8 vs. Fulgencio Zuniga 174.8
George Arias 227.2 vs. Eric Cason 198.2
Mike Reed 140.2 vs. Luis Joel Gonzalez 140.2
Jason Sosa 130.8 vs. Santiago Bustos 129.8
Christopher Diaz 127 vs. Marcello Gallardo 126.4
Darren Goodall 167.8 vs. Dave Tamaso 166.4