By Keith Idec
As much as Jason Sosa wanted to see Nicholas Walters test Vasyl Lomachenko, Sosa suspected that was an unlikely scenario.
Sosa, who’ll challenge Lomachenko on April 8, figured Walters had been too inactive to be ready to win a fight that difficult. Walters went 11 months without boxing between his fights against Sosa, who drew with Walters in December 2015, and Lomachenko, who dominated the previously unbeaten former featherweight champion.
The Ukrainian southpaw was too fast, too skilled and too strong for Jamaica’s Walters (26-1-1, 21 KOs), who refused to leave his corner for the start of the eighth round November 26 in Las Vegas. Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs) was winning by huge margins on all three scorecards when their scheduled 12-round fight for Lomachenko’s WBO world super featherweight title was stopped at The Cosmopolitan.
“It was a good performance,” Sosa told BoxingScene.com. “He did what he had to do. He actually did what he was supposed to do. When you fight somebody that doesn’t fight back, you’re supposed to look that good.”
Watching Walters quit surprised Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs), particularly after he and Walters went at it for 10 hard rounds.
“It really surprised me,” Sosa said. “But then again, he was off for a year. It was kind of disappointing to me, because he actually quit. At the end of the day, it is what it is. Lomachenko is a beast. He’s a monster. I just felt Nicholas Walters wasn’t ready for that competition after taking a year off.”
The 28-year-old Sosa won’t have to shed any such rust when he meets Lomachenko in an HBO “World Championship Boxing” main event at MGM National Harbor, a new casino and resort near Washington, D.C. The Camden, New Jersey, native has fought twice in the past seventh months.
Six months after his draw with Walters, Sosa stopped then-undefeated Dominican Javier Fortuna (31-1-1, 22 KOs) in the 11th round of a June 24 fight in Beijing to win the WBA world super featherweight championship. Then he defended his 130-pound title November 12, when he beat England’s Stephen Smith (24-3, 14 KOs) by unanimous decision in a 12-rounder in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.