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Walters ranked No. 1 super featherweight challenger

Published:Sunday | June 19, 2016 | 6:00 AMLeroy Brown
Walters

Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters received some good news recently when the World Boxing Association (WBA) named him the No. 1 ranked contender in their super featherweight division. This makes him the mandatory challenger for the title, but it could be some time before he gets another title fight.

Walters, whose record is now 26 wins and a draw, lost his featherweight title on the scales on June 13, last year when he failed to make the weight for his title fight against Miguel Marriaga. He won the non-title fight that took place impressively, but on December 19 last year, he was held to a draw by Jason Sosa. He has not fought since.

As a result of these fights, he fell in the ratings, but has now made it back to the No. 1 spot and becomes the mandatory challenger. A title fight could still be several months away, however. He was offered a fight by promoter Bob Arum to fight Vasyl Lomachenko for the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) featherweight title on June 11, but that fight did not take place because, as Arum stated publicly, Walters wanted too much money to fight.

NO LONGER ON LOMACHENKO'S RADAR

Another opponent, the WBO super featherweight champion Rocky Martinez, was signed instead and Lomachenko took his title by knocking him out in five rounds. As a result of this victory, he currently has both the featherweight and super featherweight titles, but has to vacate one shortly. The choice is his. Asked about Walters after his victory, Lomachenko said that the Jamaican is no longer on his radar.

The current WBA super featherweight champion, Javier Fortuna, defends his title against Jason Sosa, the man Walters last fought in December. If he wins, it will be several months before he will have to fight the mandatory challenger, and if Sosa wins, it would be a much longer time, up to a year, before he has to make a mandatory defence.

Walters could still, therefore, have a long wait for a title fight, unless his promotional company, Bob Arum's Top Rank, can use its influence to negotiate a fight for him. What Walters may well have to do is to try to get another non-title fight soon so as to keep himself active and his name on the lips of boxing fans worldwide.