Tonight a new star was born and quite possibly a former stars was dimmed. WBA Featherweight Champion Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters (25-0, 21 KOs) of Montego Bay Jamaica defeated 2012 Fighter of the year Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire (33-3, 21 KOs) by 6th round KO.
Walters entered the ring full of confidence and from the opening bell he was in control showing no respect for the former #3 pound for pound fighter. His long jab seemed to give Donaire problems. Donaire was patient showing good head movement in the first round while trying to counter with his left hook. Towards the end of round 2 Walters opened a cut close to Donaire’s left eye and became a little too confident and ran into a sledgehammer left hook from Donaire that had him seriously hurt. Donaire tried to jump on Walters and finish him off, but the bell rang and referee Raul Caiz Jr. literally caught Walters from hitting the canvas. In between the round Walters assured his corner he was ok.
In round three many would have thought Donaire would have jumped on his opponent to see if he had fully regained his whereabouts but it never happened. Instead Walters began to take over and opened a cut over Donaires right eye. During a close exchange Walter dropped Donaire with a vicious uppercut. It was the first time in Donaires career he had hit the canvas. From that point on Walters dominated the older fighter. The Filipino Flash tried to stand his ground and exchange with Walters but always seemed to get the worst of it. Over the next two rounds Donaires right eye started to close and began to look like his only chance of winning would be to land one of his patented left hooks. It never happened and instead in round 6 Walters landed a hard right hook over Donaire’s ear that sent him hard to the canvas. Nonito never recovered and barely made it to his feet where referee Raul Caiz Jr waved off the contest.
“He hit me with a very clean hard punch” Walters said, “but I told my trainers I was ok. I recovered walking back to the corner”. Nonito Donaire had nothing but praise for his opponent “Congratulations to Walters! He deserves everything. I have no regrets. I can honestly say I trained my best and I made alot of sacrifices this camp. I'm honored I lost to him in the fight we had. I hit him with everything I had and he just kept coming. Thanks to all my friends family and fan who believed in me and still believe in me. I love u all. God bless”.
When asked what’s next he answered he didn’t know but would go back to the drawing board. Perhaps Super Featherweight is just too big of a step up in weight. As fighters move up in weight or when they get older the first thing they lose is speed and for a guy whose moniker is “The Filipino Flash” that is not a good thing. In the past at the lower weight classes Nonito Donaire would jump in and out and tattoo his opponents with lightning speed and be gone before they could react. That speed is no longer there, maybe because he is carrying extra weight or simply because father time has caught up with him. What ever the reason Donaire needs to take a hard look in the mirror and decide if he still has enough left in the tank to compete at the absolute top level of the sport. If the answer is no, he can hold his head up high, be proud and know he accomplished what very few have in the sport of boxing, to win World Titles in 5 different weight classes.
Walters KO’s Donaire in the 6th.
Written by Soren Krabbe
Photo by Kylie Krabbe
October 18th 2014