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Severe setback for Walters

Published:Tuesday | July 14, 2015 | 3:32 PMLeroy Brown
Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters

The World Boxing Association issued its latest ratings a few days ago and the bad news for former featherweight super champion Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters, is that he is now ranked at No. 3 in his weight class. This is a severe setback for the former champion and shows how costly his being one pound overweight for his title fight against Miguel 'The Scorpion' Marriaga continues to be.

Walters, who earned the Super Champion designation by defeating the former Super Champion Nonito Donaire, lost the title on the scale in New York on June 12, when he failed to make the 126-pound limit for his title fight on June 13. At the official weigh-in at the Madison Square Garden Theatre, he weighed in at 127.5 pounds, and an hour later, was only able to get down to 127, which meant that he lost the title on the scale.

The fight took place as scheduled, and he scored an impressive victory over Marriaga, winning by a large margin on the scorecards of all the judges. He had to pay a hefty penalty of US$40,000 for coming in overweight, however, lost his title and dashed to pieces his bargaining power for an extremely lucrative fight with the World Boxing Organisation featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko.

No interest

The Lomachenko camp had been clamouring for a title fight with Walters, because of the appeal he had at the time, and the super title that he held. No sooner than he had forfeited

the title, however, that the Lomachenko camp made it known publicly, and with a great deal of fanfare, that they were no longer interested in the fight. That fight would have given Walters his biggest payday ever, and even if it should come off anytime in the near future, there is absolutely no possibility of him getting as good a purse.

A lot will now depend on the negotiating and matchmaking skills of his manager, Jacques Deschamps, who has guided his career carefully since his entry into the professional ranks. Deschamps was able to assign Walters a very good trainer in the person of Celso Chavez, provided him with all that he needed to train properly, and when this was accomplished, he made the right calls, got the best fights, and set him on the path to success.

One major blunder has now put all of this in jeopardy, and Deschamps will have to work some miracles to get his boxer back to the top of his division. At No. 3 in the ratings, he does not have much bargaining power, but his boxing skills and attractiveness as a crowd pleaser will have to be properly marketed, to achieve the best results.