Although Nicholas Walters easily outpointed Miguel Marriaga on June 13 in an HBO main event at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, the win did not come without a price.
The day before the bout Walters was a pound over the featherweight division limit of 126 pounds and was stripped of the title, which remains vacant given that Walters won the next night.
What it also means is that he no longer has a world title, which was the entire reason that titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko wanted to fight him in a fall unification bout that Top Rank and HBO were looking forward to making.
With Walters no longer having a belt and also headed for junior lightweight, the much-anticipated showdown with Lomachenko is down the drain.
"Not right now, not at this point. Walters is not a champion, so what is the point?" Egis Klimas, Lomachenko's manager, told ESPN.com. "He has no title and we wouldn't know if he would make the weight anyway. And if he did, he'd come into the ring the next night at 147 pounds, which is insane. Lomachenko wants to fight any champion who is available and ready to step into the ring with him. Walters is not a champion. Lomachenko was very disappointed that Walters did not make weight."
Klimas said if it was up to him, he would make it a rule that any fighter who does not make weight would have their fight canceled, as harsh as that might be. It would mean neither fighter would get paid.
"The fighter has to know he is risking not getting paid at all," Klimas said. "In all of my career in boxing, more than 10 years, I had never ever, ever had one of my fighters not make weight."
Klimas said Lomachenko (4-1, 2 KOs), a two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, will return in the fall, possibly in October on HBO or in November on a card Top Rank's Bob Arum is trying to put together in Dubai.
As for the opponent, Klimas said two names have been raised -- former titleholder Simpiwe Vetyeka (27-3, 16 KOs) of South Africa, who has one win since losing his belt by fifth-round technical decision to Nonito Donaire in May 2014, and newly crowned titleholder Lee Selby (21-1, 8 KOs) of Wales.
Selby won his version of the title by a dominant eighth-round technical decision on May 30 against Evgeny Gradovich, who is managed by Klimas.
"We're looking at Vetyeka, a former champion, and maybe Selby in a unification fight," Klimas said. "Selby got a title from Gradovich and he was pointing to me after the fight saying he wants Lomachenko. We'll see how strong his word is."
Klimas said Gradovich (19-1-1, 9 KOs) will also fight once more before the end of the year, possibly on one of Top Rank's truTV-televised cards.