By Steve Kim
Adding insult to injury for Nicholas Walters this past weekend in Las Vegas, not only did he suffer his first professional loss against the highly regarded Vasyl Lomachenko, he waved the white flag after the seventh round.
So the question is: will this make 'the Axe Man' persona non grata with the likes of HBO?
"Well, probably yeah because they will judge it based on this one fight," said his promoter Bob Arum, who then added - "but they have to understand Nicholas Walters was a guy who was not used to losing. He was a winner in all his fights - including the one that they called a draw (versus Jason Sosa) that he really won. And he had never faced this type of adversity and he was on his way to being knocked out and he couldn't hit the guy.
"So for an ordinary fighter, who just takes the good with the bad, that guy keeps fighting till he gets knocked out or loses a unanimous decision. But a guy who's been a winner and he's faced with this situation he looked at it as hopeless and he quits."
Through seven rounds Walters was thoroughly befuddled by the quick movements and sharp punches of Lomachenko and it seemed as though the defending WBO super featherweight champion was turning up the heat. After the seventh stanza, Walters decided to call it a night despite not taking a prolonged physical beating.
"I can understand that psychology,"said Arum, who then made it clear - ''not that I'm endorsing what he did. I understand it."
Walters, the former WBA featherweight champion, saw his record drop to 26-1-1(21 KO's)
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.