Nicholas Walters claimed the WBA featherweight title in emphatic fashion, stopping Nonito Donaire in the sixth round at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
The Jamaican stretched his perfect record to 25-0 with the 21st knockout of his professional career, finishing his opponent off with an overhand right with just a second to go before the bell sounded.
Donaire – who had successfully moved up from super-bantamweight after being beaten by Guillermo Rigondeaux, beating Simpiwe Vetyeka last time out to become a four-weight world champion – had never been knocked down before.
However, the man known as the ‘Filipino Flash’ simply couldn’t handle the power of his opponent.
Walters – nicknamed ‘The Axe Man’ for his ability to chop down his rivals – dropped the defending champion for the first time in the third round with a brutal uppercut, forcing Donaire to drop to one knee.
He beat the count and battled on bravely, though his face was badly marked up and a third defeat of his career was confirmed when he paid dearly for missing with a huge left hand in the closing stages of the sixth.
Walters countered with a shot that landed above Donaire’s ear, sending him face-first to the canvas. Again he beat the count, only this time referee Raul Caiz Jr deemed the 31-year-old was in no fit state to carry on.
“I’ve got to go back to the drawing board,” Donaire, sporting a nasty cut above his right eye, said afterwards. “I know I can’t compete with guys like Walters.”
The new champion was able to celebrate a 10th stoppage triumph in his last 11 fights, continuing his rapid rise all the way to the top of the division.
His latest win wasn’t without the odd moment of concern, though. Donaire landed a flurry of shots at the end of the second but was unable to make the most of the opportunity before the round came to an end.
“We worked hard for this victory,” Walters said. “Donaire is a super great champion. I know I have to respect him, and that’s what I did. He caught me with a few shots.”
Source: Sky Sports');