This past Saturday night, Ukraine's Vasyl Lomachenko retained his super featherweight title with a seven round demolition Saturday of Jamaican Nicholas Walters, whose corner threw in the towel in between rounds telling the referee “no mas.”
The two-time Olympic gold medal winner Lomachenko registered the biggest victory of his career in dynamic fashion in the second defence of his World Boxing Organization title and just his eighth professional fight.
He dominated the previously unbeaten Walters from the opening bell, scoring at will by landing hard punches in the final round of the beat down at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Before the start of the eighth round Walters shot out of his corner and told referee Tony Weeks, “I don’t want to continue.”
The way the fight ended was reminiscent of the historic 1980 rematch between Panamanian Roberto Duran and American Sugar Ray Leonard, when Duran quit in the eighth round famously telling the referee “no mas” (”no more”).
This time it was Walters’ Panamanian trainer Celso Chavez uttering the words to Weeks. His fighter was slammed for giving up.
But don’t let the finish distract you from the real story — Lomachenko’s rise to the very top of the sport.
“It seems to me Lomachenko is operating on a higher level to the rest of boxing right now,” HBO commentator Max Kellerman said. “Though he hasn’t proven it with the resume yet, I suspect he’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world already and I’m pretty confident he’ll establish that in a more concrete way in the not-too-distant future.”
UFC commentator and fight fan Joe Rogan was blown away by Lomachenko’s performance.
“I watched Lomachenko vs Walters last night and what a pleasure it was to watch some of the slickest and most technical boxing I’ve ever seen,” Rogan wrote on Instagram.
“Lomachenko is a true master. Seriously disappointing ending when Walters just sort of decided he didn’t want to fight anymore so the ending was pretty anticlimactic, but from a technical standpoint it was worth the view just to see such incredibly high level footwork and movement.”
With his victory Lomachenko — who compiled an amateur record of 396-1 with Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012 — is now 7-1 as a professional.
Lomachenko captured his first world title in June of 2014, dominating former US Olympian Gary Russell to win his in his third pro bout. He matched Saensak Muangsurin’s record for fewest fights needed to win a world championship.
The only blemish on his pro record was a loss to Mexico’s Orlando Salido in Lomachenko’s second professional fight, when the vacant WBO featherweight title on the line.
Lomachenko said after the bout that he next wants to fight WBC super featherweight champion Francisco Vargas. Manny Pacquiao has also been mentioned as a possible future opponent.