Fri | Oct 19, 2018

No match for Lomachenko

Published:Saturday | December 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMLeroy Brown

Vasyl 'High Tech' Lomachenko, the Ukranian boxer, who humiliated Jamaica's Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters in their world title fight on November 26, 2016, continues to create waves in boxing circles, and has earned himself a new nickname, 'Nomaschenko', because of his boxing prowess.

Two weeks ago, he dismantled another well-known boxer, Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, known as one of the best defensive fighters in the sport, and whose record was then 17-0 and a world champion, and caused him, like Walters to quit. "No Mas" is a reviled name in boxing circles, after former world champion Roberto Duran made that infamous declaration in his title fight against Sugar Ray Leonard on November 25, 1980, when he quit in round eight.

After six of the 12 rounds scheduled for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Super Featherweight title fight on December 9, Rigondeaux did not answer the bell for round seven, claiming that he had hurt his left hand. At that stage of the fight, two judges had Lomachenko (9-1) winning all six rounds, while one judge gave Rigondeaux one round. This was similar to the situation with Walters, who was totally outclassed for six rounds and did not answer the bell for round seven.

keenly anticipated

The Rigondeaux fight was keenly anticipated, because of the records of the two men. One other fact that appealed to the boxing public was that both men had won two Olympic gold medals while campaigning as amateurs, and this was played up by the media. Lomachenko of course had the better record, having also won two world boxing titles in a splendid 396-1 amateur career.

Two other recent Lomachenko opponents also took the 'no mas' route after being punched silly by the champion. Miguel Marriaga on August 5, quit after round six and Jason Sosa quit on April 8, after round 8. Both men it should be noted, also lost to Walters on points. Marriaga was the opponent that Walters should have faced on June 13, 2015 for his Super World featherweight title, but when he came in one pound overweight at the weigh-in the day before, the title was vacated and the fight was relegated to a non-title fight, which Walters won on points by majority decision.

His professional career has stalled, and he has not fought for over a year, while Lomachenko fought three times this year, impressively each time, and earned himself millions of dollars and a new fighting name. His difficulty in 2018, will be to find opponents in his weight class, as no one is anxious to fight him, because he is such a red hot commodity.

Walters, on the other hand, is not rated by any of the controlling bodies of the sport, despite the fact that he has a stellar 26-1-1 record. When he spoke with The Gleaner last month, he said that he had been promised a fight this month, but it did not materialise.