By Keith Idec, photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank.
LAS VEGAS – Vasyl Lomachenko didn’t sense at any point Saturday night that he was about to make Nicholas Walters quit.
When Walters told referee Tony Weeks after the seventh round of their one-sided 130-pound title fight that he didn’t want to continue, Lomachenko was completely surprised. By the time Lomachenko made his way to ringside following his impressive victory, the Ukrainian southpaw seemed more annoyed than surprised that Walters wouldn’t continue.
“In the beginning he was saying he was a gladiator,” Lomachenko said, “he’s a warrior, he’s here to hurt people, he’s here to win. But after that, when he quit the fight, I don’t count him anymore. He’s [not] a fighter.”
Jamaica’s Walters (26-1-1, 21 KOs) said after the fight that Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs) landed a hard right hand to his left temple that hurt him badly. That punch was among the reasons he didn’t want to continue.
Nevertheless, promoter Bob Arum, whose Top Rank Inc. represents Lomachenko and Walters, also was surprised Walters wanted out of a fight Lomachenko seemed well on his way to winning by knockout.
“Yeah, it did surprise me,” Arum said. “But he was gonna get knocked out in the next round. You know, he couldn’t handle it. He couldn’t handle it and he was gonna get knocked out. But he was gone. He was gone. But should he have quit? I don’t know. People say it’s boxing and you shouldn’t quit. Maybe he lands a good punch, but this kid would’ve taken him out in one more round.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.