Discussions of a potential fight between undisputed super featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama and former featherweight champion Nicholas Walters have been circulating media circles for over a month, with one publication even saying the fight was already agreed upon.
Last week at the Takashi Uchiyama – Oliver Flores pre-fight and post-fight press conferences, Uchiyama and his team told No Sparring on several occasions of their willingness and desire to face Walters in what would be his American and HBO debut, but that nothing had yet been signed. Today a source inside Top Rank confirmed to No Sparring that talks are ongoing between the Uchiyama and Walters camps.
The manager for Walters, Jacques Deschamps, was recently published on notifight.com expressing favorability for his fighter to stay at 126lbs even though Walters hasn’t fought at that weight in his last two bouts and was even stripped of his WBA featherweight title for failing to make weight against Miguel Marriaga.
Were Deschamps comments public posturing for something better?
The WBA and HBO have been equally involved and impressed with the accession that the career of Walters has taken. HBO has been attempting to showcase their fighter in another high profile fight ever since the Marriaga fiasco scuttled a proposed unification bout with WBO champ Vasyl Lomachenko while the WBA would prefer it be for their title
After the No Sparring pick for fight of the year Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura concluded, talks began to surface of another Japanese champion being courted by HBO; Takashi Uchiyama, a one time victor over Takashi Miura, and still undefeated champion with 11 successful defenses, was being mentioned as a possible candidate for a Walters clash.
The No Sparing 2016 Fight Wish List piece depicts the prospective Uchiyama – Walters fight as an early FOTY candidate but when might such a fight take place?
Uchiyama and his team told No Sparring that they’d be ready to fight again around April with Walters telling media outlets he’d like to start training again this month which makes a Spring fight between the two plausible. HBO has their March calendar wide open and two big April fights on the horizon; Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley are scheduled to go at it on April 9th while Gennady Golovkin and their team have Madison Square Garden on hold for April 23rd with an opponent yet to be named.
With Mr. Hitoshi Watanabe (Uchiyama’s advisor and gym owner) telling No Sparring that they’re hesitant to fight on the Pacquiao-Bradley card, due to ticket and credential restraints that would hinder Uchiyama’s entourage, fan base and massive media following, could New York with its large Japanese and Jamaican populations respectively, attract them to a Triple G show?
At this point I don’t care if these two meet on a boat in the middle of the Indian Ocean, just make the fight!