On Saturday, November 26, 2016, Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs) puts his WBO Super Featherweight title on the line against undefeated power puncher, Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs).
The highly-anticipated clash will headline an HBO World Championship Boxing card which will air at 10:35 pm, EST/PST.
Read on for Round By Round Boxing‘s staff predictions for Lomachenko vs. Walters and let us know who you think will win.
Round By Round Boxing Staff Predictions - 2017
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Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Liam Brady, Graphic Designer/Staff Writer
Great fight on paper, a real example of the boxer vs. puncher narrative, though both can box and punch. Combining both should result in a concoction that is an exciting fight for the fans. With that said, my winner is Vasyl Lomachenko, without a doubt.
His boxing is exquisite to watch. He possesses fluid movement, constantly being on his toes, in and out of range, which makes it harder for his opponent to know when to throw a punch. This is complemented by his head movement, alternating between side-to-side movements, and up and down, to maintain elusiveness.
And, in my opinion, he is probably the most offensively and defensively refined fighter today, making him as close to the full package as possible. His use of angles is fantastic, shown by him throwing a shot down the pipe, and then moving to the side that the opponent jabs from, in order to evade their counter right, or left (depending on orthodox or southpaw).
This then leaves Lomachenko to throw a shot from the opponent’s blind side, thus startling them. He is also constantly popping the jab, which maintains authority and offsets any rhythm the opponent has, while forming his own.
I see all of these attributes coming into play against Walters, who can box in his own right, and throw mean hooks and body shots, though not on the level of Lomachenko. I also believe the advantage of speed goes to Lomachenko, and as a consequence, I see a frustrated Walters who will regularly miss, and pay for the defensive lapses, caused by over-stretching when trying to catch him clean.
Walters should target the body and use his punching power to nullify Lomachenko’s movement, but I do not see Lomachenko being stationary long enough to allow his body to be hit.
I see a real domination, not enough for a stoppage, but enough for a wide unanimous decision win for Vasyl Lomachenko. Taking both the undefeated records of Gary Russell Jr. and Nicholas Walters in just eight fights just shows how prodigious Lomachenko is.
Robert Contreras, Staff Writer
Nicholas Walters is likely the biggest puncher Vasyl Lomachenko has faced in the professional ranks. But that still doesn’t mean the Jamaican-born man’s clubbing ability hasn’t been overrated.
His two biggest stoppages (against Nonito Donaire and Vic Darchinyan) were over former Flyweights. Still, he did prove superior to current WBA champion Jason Sosa—the judges’ scores be damned. So Walters is formidable.
But he’s also human. And Lomachenko isn’t. The Ukrainian is just levels above anybody around that weight. He’s an artist in the ring—not exactly Picasso, but I once likened him to Jackson Pollock, the abstract expressionist.
Shifting in and out, working punches up and down—seemingly at random but with more purpose than we can ever understand. Lomachenko has this. He’s also digging his feet in more and more with every pro fight.
Lomachenko stops Walters inside 10 rounds.
Shelbi Keyes, Staff Writer
Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs) will be defending his WBO Junior Lightweight title against Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs) Saturday night, November 26 at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. This is a much anticipated fight and for good reason.
Lomachenko is one of boxing’s fastest rising stars. While he was one of the most decorated amateur fighters in history, he looks to continue his legacy as a professional–Lomachenko won his second world championship at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, beating Roman “Rocky” Martinez back in June.
Saturday night he will face his biggest foe to date, the hard-hitting Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters.
Walters is known for his knockout power, but Lomachenko shouldn’t underestimate his boxing skills either. Walters has outstanding footwork, possibly the best in the game right now. Walters has faced tough opposition, but believe it or not Lomachenko, with only seven professional fights, is still on a whole new level.
This is a high-level matchup between two fighters in their prime. This is a dangerous fight for Lomachenko because Walters is easily the heaviest hitting opponent he has faced thus far. With that being said, I believe Lomachenko’s ring IQ and superb technical skills will lead him to victory Saturday night at the Cosmopolitan.
Alan Garcia, Staff Writer
Man oh man, after an obvious robbery against the European fighter last Saturday night in Las Vegas, it gets harder and harder to give an accurate prediction.
I don’t know whether to predict based on boxing knowledge or to give a prediction based on boxing politics. With that being said, this page is strictly for my prediction and I have formulated a prediction that extends to a few possibilities due to the bitter taste that was left in my mouth from last Saturday nights scorecards in the Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward fight.
Vasyl Lomachenko is a highly praised fighter that deserves more than fanatic attention. Lomachenko is a name that should be among the talk of casual boxing fans. In some way, Lomachenko’s career reminds me of Guillermo Rigondeaux’s.
They’re both two-time Olympian gold medal winners, and both became champions within a few fights into their professional career. A fighter of this caliber shoots into the professional ranks like a rocket ship conquering the sky due to his veteran experience as an amateur.
Although a fighters determination to succeed as a champion isn’t easily conquered by his opponent, it only gets tougher to beat when the fighter knows in his mind he’s overcome greater adversity (than his opponent) in the past already.
I can say the same about Nicholas Walters. Walters has the bragging rights to say he knocked out Nonito Donaire. But, if one was to compare Lomachenko to Walters by meaningful victories, Lomachenko has the tougher determination to beat because he has beaten much tougher opposition in his seven fights than Walters has in 27 fights—because in boxing, it’s all about quality not quantity.
I don’t mean to be mistaken if it sounds like I’m minimizing Walters’ chances of winning. I’m aware that boxing is the theater of the unexpected and any one man has the chance of emerging as the winner (like the unexpected win of Ward last Saturday for example).
In this case however, I don’t see Lomachenko making the crucial mistakes that Donaire made against the hard-hitting Walters, that in turn, might cost him the fight. We haven’t seen Lomachenko performing anything below his 110 percent in the past and we won’t see it this Saturday night.
Even if Walters performs at his best, it won’t be enough for him to emerge victorious over the Ukrainian fighter. Unless of course he steals a page from Ward’s book and throws a jab, one-two, and holds–or lands an unexpected knockout punch.
The strong will of both men will make this fight very entertaining and competitive throughout. I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes the distance, but if Lomachenko learned anything from last Saturday, he won’t leave this to the judges scorecards.
Walters hasn’t ever been knocked out in his professional career, but if Donaire was able to hurt him, Lomachenko will be able to capitalize on him when he’s hurt and will, therefore, knock him out.
And because I’m giving Walters his credit, I see him putting up a good fight that will last him up until a late-round knockout if not sooner.
Amber Williams, Photographer
Andrew Kang, Staff Writer
Wow! On paper this is quite a fight with Nicholas Walters having more than a real puncher’s chance to pull off the upset. The unbeaten former WBA Featherweight champion has the height, reach and size advantage over Vasyl Lomachenko, despite moving up in weight class.
Plus, he has bone-crunching power and excellent hand speed to match. Walters certainly poses as Lomachenko’s most stern test as a professional. He has not shown any real weaknesses so far.
Lomachenko, however, is an exceptional talent and his handspeed, mobility and defense will make even the supremely gifted Walters look almost pedestrian. Lomachenko will pepper Walters will blitzing combinations coming from all angles.
Walters also has shown a bad tendency to move straight back and will get caught with quick right jabs and left crosses by the southpaw Lomachenko. Walters’ best chance is to stay poised, keep a busy jab and hope to catch Lomachenko with a flush right uppercut or left hook, especially when the very confident Lomachenko asserts control of the fight, begins dropping his hands and tries to engage more to make it an entertaining match.
Can Walters do it? Most certainly. It just will not happen. I like Lomachenko by a unanimous decision win, but Walters can make it interesting early.
Brandon Glass, Staff Writer
There’s no need to get to in depth here. Vasyl Lomachenko is a master boxer. Nicholas Walters, who is no tomato can, brings a lot to the table but Lomachenko is on a completely different level in terms of skill and IQ.
Because Walters brings attributes like power and experience to the table, this should make for an interesting fight as long as it lasts.
But ultimately Lomachenko will win. Probably by late round TKO.
Alex Burgos, Editor-in-Chief
Vasyl Lomachenko is as good as it gets in the world of boxing. Aside from Gennady Golovkin, if I had to chose one guy to show my non-boxing friends in an attempt to convert them into fans of the sport, it would be “Hi-Tech.”
Nicholas Walters is exciting in his own right, but he’s facing an amazing talent in Lomachenko, a guy that is arguably the best amateur ever and has transitioned into an excellent pro.
I think Walters will be frustrated throughout the night and be unable to land his hammering power punches. Lomachenko has a chance to put an exclamation point on 2016 with another sensational stoppage–which will likely come somewhere around Round 9 or 10.
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