We are nearly at the end of what has been a fascinating and exhilarating month of boxing and MMA. Andre Ward controversially claimed the scalp of Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in what was admittedly a very tight fight that should have probably gone to the Russian. We have just one notable fight left in November, but it is definitely not a contest to sleep on, with Ukrainian sensation Vasyl Lomachenko taking on hard-hitting Jamaican Nicholas Walters.
A fighter with a 26-0-1 record v his opponent who holds a 6 victories and 1 defeat. One competitor priced up at odds of 1.20 and the other at 5.0. Looks like a mismatch on paper right? There is just one thing…it is the fighter that holds the 6-1 record that is the overwhelming favourite. Such is the ability of Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko, one of the most highly decorated amateurs to ever grace the pro-game, odds makers just cannot see past a victory against teak tough and huge punching, undefeated Jamaican Nicholas Walters. At SBO we are not about lumping on the prohibitive odds on shots, but there does appear to be value elsewhere. Let’s take a look at the fight.
This event is most definitely one for boxing purists. It is the perfect example of a boxer (Lomachenko) v a puncher (Walters), although the former does have power in his hands as demonstrated by a brutal KO of Roman Martinez last time out. It is credit to both men that they are willing to face this fight. In the past year, both fighters have stepped up from their previous division of 126lbs, and the bout will be contested at 130lbs. Now 4lbs may not sound a lot on paper, but the weight is likely to suit both significantly better as they don’t have to drain themselves and dehydrate to sweat those last few pounds out.
Incredibly, after just 6 fights, Lomachenko is a two-weight world champion. It may seem unbelievable to the naked eye, but those who know boxing inside out, are aware that Lomachenko carried an almost flawless 396-1 amateur record. He has turned over to the pro game late, but after losing a very tight fight against Salido (who came in heavy and turned the fight ugly), he has soon adjusted his style to be successful in the paid ranks. A tricky southpaw who has an extensive arsenal of punches, mesmerising footwork and an almost unrivalled boxing brain, he has flummoxed opponents who would be by no means walkovers for most fighters in his division.
Nicholas Walters is probably best known for his knockout victory over Nonito Donaire. The Jamaican has real lights out power, which is fairly unusual for the weight divisions he fights in. He can end fights with one punch, and although can appear a little crude, does have underrated boxing skills. After struggling with his weight at 126lbs, Walters moved up and fought the tricky Jason Sosa at 130lbs. Many felt the Jamaican dominated the fight, with respected media personnel and ringside observers scoring the fight as a shutout. However, the judges had other ideas, and the fight was declared a draw. That contest was back in December of 2015, and Walters has been off since.
The pick? Most fight fans are saying Lomachenko has a very good chance of dominating the fight with his skill and boxing acumen, although they are wary that Walters has a chance of putting the Ukrainian’s lights out. However, the value actually lies with Lomachenko doing the damage, and stopping Walters. Bettors can get +275 with Paddy Power on the amateur prodigy being victorious within the distance, and those odds seem attractive. Walters can be hurt – he was badly rocked by Donaire in their fight of the year contender, and his wild style does leave him open. Lomachenko showed he does have power with his brutal KO last time out and although he doesn’t sit down on his punches early in the fight, once his opponent has stopped being a danger, then the Ukranian maestro picks up his power. A great fight while it lasts, but expect Lomachenko to be well on top, and win in the late rounds.
Vasyl Lomachenko to Win by KO/TKO/DQ
Saturday 26th November
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