Vasyl Lomachenko vs Nicholas Walters plus Undercard
BY KID HERSH
From the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas came the highly anticipated super featherweight matchup of monsters on HBO World Championship Boxing. This is the 2,000th promotion for legendary promoter Bob Arum.
The undercard had Juan Jose Ruiz blast out Fernando Carcamo in the very first round for his 19th win. Carcamo has fallen a long ways from his big Boxcino win, looking worse and worse ever since. Amazing he has fallen this far this fast.
Next up was Maxim Dadashev (4-0, 4KO's) as he blasted out his opponent in two rounds. He had a very slow and tentative first round, landing some nice check hooks that thudded home with authority that let you know he has power in his hands. He was looking for one punch though and standing straight up - he looked very "European" to me as his chin was exposed at times from his stiff and straight upper body. Nonetheless he landed a big left hook midway through the second round and the fight was over just like that. Will be interesting to see Dadashev develop more.
Next up was Trevor McCumby (23-0, 18KO's) vs Donovan George (25-6-2, 22KO's). We got another very short fight as McCumby sent George down to the canvas only a minute into the round from a right hand to an exposed chin in retreat. George rose but instead of looking like the warrior he has been in the past he looked puzzled and hurt. The fight was waved off shortly afterwards.
Konstantin Ponomarev (30-0, 13KO's vs Silverio Ortiz (35-18, 17KO's) was up before the main event. Ponomarev started off the fight pressing Ortiz around the ring and landing body shots. He was getting caught with sloppy shots, which surprised me because the punches Ortiz was occasionally landing were looping overhand rights and sloppy roundhouse left hooks. They did not have much for power on them so Ortiz was having some problems getting Ponomarev to back off of him but still hanging in there, likely due to Ponomarev having a lack of power. Ponomarev did land some good uppercuts two minutes into the third round and was backing Ortiz into the ropes while piling on the punishment but Ortiz looked to be right back in the fight (although losing the rounds) in the fourth. Ponomarev continued this through the rounds and scored himself a wide UD.
Main event time! Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4KO's) the amateur stud that is arguably the greatest of all time vs Nicholas "The Axe Man" Walters (26-0, 21KO's). The first round was a very slow one with both men judging the distance and looking to simply feel the other out and see what they had to offer for angles and distance and rhythm. Walters was surprisingly sitting back and not pressing forward. Lomachenko was boxing his man and giving him odd angles and lots of upper body movement which might be why Walters is freezing up thus far. In the third round the tactical boxing match continued. Walters was showing that he belonged at the top level, despite perhaps losing these early rounds, as he timed out Lomachenko for a right hand a little over midway through the round. It was his best punch of the fight but Lomachenko took it beautifully and ended the round with a flurry to likely steal it on the cards. Walters is proving tough to hit but not doing enough offensively to take the rounds. I am very surprised that he did not turn up the heat even through the fourth round. Lomachenko was getting into rhythm and doing his herky-jerky movements that are near impossible to time out but not landing much for flush punches either really. In the fifth round Lomachenko really got into rhythm and you could see that he was keyed in as he started to toy with Walters towards the end of the round. I even saw something new altogether as Lomachenko stopped in his tracks with his hands down and Walters mimicked him, doing exactly the same thing as both men stared at each other until the bell sounded to end the round. It was extremely strange to witness two men staring at each other with their hands down as the round ended. This definitely favored Lomachenko though, as Lomachenko initiated it to show his dominance over Walters at this point in the fight and show that he has mentally cracked his man. It was more of the same in the sixth round until in the seventh Walters was in deep shit when Lomachenko went to yet another gear and was bouncing all over the ring and hitting Walters from every angle imaginable. By the end of the seventh round he was turning up the heat more and more until it looked like Walters was in the deep end of the pool and did not know how to swim. Despite this Walters did not look like he was getting seriously beat up to me and so it was a shocker when his corner stopped the fight before the eighth round. Wow, what a shocker right there!
Walters corner would say post fight that he took a bad shot to the left temple in the seventh round and that they thought he could not win the fight anymore.