Walters Learned From Kovalev-Ward, Will Go For KO
Nicholas Walters is one of the most dangerous fighters in his division, and on Saturday he will face the stiffest test of his career. When he takes on Vasyl Lomachenko for the junior-lightweight belt, he will have learned from last week’s Kovalev-Ward super-fight. For Walters, going the distance isn’t an option.
Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs) faces top-10 pound-for-pound fighter Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs) just a week after Andre Ward defeated Sergey Kovalev in the most-anticipated fight of the year. The decision was controversial, with many believing that Kovalev should have gotten the nod. Walters was watching closely, and said he has learned from Kovalev’s error.
"It was a very close fight," Walters said after an open workout on Tuesday. "What I do say, though, is when you knock a guy down so early in a fight, and you’re fighting an unbeaten fighter, an American champion, also, and you’re fighting in the States, you’ve got to take him out. You can’t just go through the fight thinking, ‘You know, we’re just gonna go to the decision.’ Don’t leave the fights to a decision. You knocked him down, that proved something. Knock him down. Take him out."
Walters did give praise to Ward, who showed perseverance in taking Kovalev’s hard shots early and finding a way to win the later rounds.
"Andre Ward has a lot of courage. He got knocked down in the early part of the fight, and I thought he would be out. But he stood there all night and he fought an intelligent fight, also. It was a close fight. There’s always a rematch. When two guys fight, I have no problem because they did the fight. When guys fight, and run and hold, that kills the sport of boxing. But when two guys fight, to me, that’s a plus. It was a close fight and we’re definitely looking forward to the rematch. There is gonna be a rematch."
As for Walters’ upcoming bout, he plans to end the fight in such a fashion that no judges are consulted and no rematch is necessary. The heaviest hitter that the Ukrainian star Lomachenko has faced, the Jamaican "Axe-Man" believes he will land the kind of devastating shots that will end the fight early.
"Hey man, that’s what I’m really planning on doing," he said. "I’m really and truly planning on taking him out. Whenever I take out Lomachenko, 2017 is gonna be a boom for Walters. So we’re definitely planning on that."