By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Nicholas Walters isn’t overly concerned with the lone blemish on his professional record.
The former WBA world featherweight champion knows in his heart and mind that he beat Jason Sosa in their 10-rounder 11 months ago. More important to Walters, fight fans and media were very vocal in their opposition to the majority draw he was forced to accept last December 19 in Verona, New York.
Jamaica’s Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs) hasn’t fought since facing Sosa in a bout HBO televised, but he hasn’t thought too much about that fight while preparing to challenge heavily favored Ukrainian southpaw Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs) for the WBO world super featherweight title Saturday night at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (HBO; 10:35 p.m. ET).
“You saw the reaction of all the people after the fight – the fans and everybody,” Walters told BoxingScene.com. “They booed the judges and their decision. And everybody was congratulating me on the fight. And as I’ve said, Jason Sosa, he’s a good fighter, also. He went on to live up to the draw. He went on to knock out [Javier] Fortuna and to defend his title a week ago. He has been successful ever since that draw. So thumbs up for him.”
Judges Don Ackerman and Wynn Kintz scored the Walters-Sosa fight even (95-95). Tom Schreck scored it 96-94 for Walters.
The 28-year-old Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs), of Camden, New Jersey, became a world champion by knocking out the favored Fortuna (31-1-1, 22 KOs) in the 11th round of their June 24 fight in Beijing. He made his first defense of the WBA world super featherweight title he took from Fortuna on November 12, when he dropped England’s Stephen Smith (24-3, 14 KOs) in the second round and beat Smith by unanimous decision in Monte Carlo.
“That just shows the quality of ‘The Ax Man,’ ” Walters, 30, said regarding Sosa’s recent run. “A fight that I clearly won, and the guy still goes on to become a world champion. Also, the Colombian guy that I fought, [Miguel] Marriaga, went on to become a [regional featherweight] champion [NABO]. Most of these guys, you can see that they are world-beaters. And then they run into ‘The Ax Man,’ and they ‘The Ax Man’ takes them out.”
Walters wouldn’t mind boxing Sosa again, particularly if Sosa remains a world title-holder.
“I’m willing to fight whoever,” Walters said. “I put my unbeaten record on the line to fight him. I don’t know if he’s gonna put his title on the line to fight me. But I’m here to fight whoever. If Mr. Bob [Arum] makes the fights, I’m willing to fight anybody.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.