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THE SQUARED RING

By Rich Mazon


Underdog Donaire walks the Edge of the Axe versus Walters tonight

PhilBoxing.com
Sat, 18 Oct 2014



It was more than seven years ago when Nonito Donaire Jr. was tagged as the underdog inside a boxing ring. This was in 2007 when he blasted the once invincible Vic Darchinyan inside 5 rounds in a fight that made him a first time champion and the fight that brought him to what he is now ? a superstar.

But this Filipino?American superstar, the 2012 Fighter of The Year, a five division champion, and the current champion will enter as an underdog ? albeit slightly, but still an underdog ? for the first time in seven years against a fighter they call ?The Axe Man?.

?The Axe Man? is Nicholas Walters, an undefeated (24-0) 28 year old from Montego Bay, Jamaica and one who has a penchant of chopping his opponents to the canvas (hence the nickname). Walters is a bona fide featherweight and the World Boxing Association?s World Champion at 126 pounds since 2012.

Donaire (33-2) is surprisingly the WBA?s Super and Undisputed Champion at featherweight in only his second fight at 126 pounds when he beat Simpiwe Vetyeka (the WBA?s Super or Undisputed Champ at that time) last May 31st in Macao, China.

This fight will ?unify? the belts in this very confusing (and enterprising?) ranking system by the WBA. That is if you can even truly call this a ?unification? match.

Factors that might have influenced boxing odds and lines for this showdown of champions can be traced to fighter size, their previous performances, records and experiences.

Walters has an 83% knockout ratio, only 4 of his 24 previous opponents answered the final bell. He is a true featherweight since the start of his career and is at ease fighting at this weight. Donaire has 21 knockouts in his career, (21 of 33) a 60 percent KO ratio. As mentioned above, he only fought twice in this weight, including a rematch with Darchinyan when they both decided to move up in weight in 2013. Walters, the bigger fighter also has the height and reach advantage over Donaire.

Edge: Walters.

Walters carries a replica of an axe in his fights, but it was his fists that have been doing the ?axing? in the ring. He destroyed and sent Darchinyan to retirement in the same Macao card in May. He iced a hapless Alberto Garza in the undercard of Donaire-Darchinyan 2 in Texas - his last two fights. A lack of exposure in Western TV and You Tube clips denied us of some of his KO performances.

Donaire in his last two fights struggled against Darchinyan and was embroiled in an ugly and somewhat unsatisfying fight with Vetyeka. (His fight before these two was a UD lost to Guillermo Rigondeaux in New York in 2013). While we don?t doubt Walters? previous performances, we have unanswered questions about the Filipino superstar?s last two outings at this weight.

Edge: Walters.

But one advantage Donaire has over Walters is experience. Donaire is a 13 year vet with a total of 208 rounds in his career while Walters has 109 logged rounds in only his sixth year as a professional boxer. Donaire has fought, dominated and lost (Rigondeaux in 2013) to superstars in headlining cards in various packed arenas in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Macao and Manila. He is used to the limelight and the pressure of the big stage, Walters is new to this. This will be the Jamaican?s first super fight against a proven performer under the bright lights of premium cable TV. Walters will find out why it is different to fight in the undercard as opposed to the main card or co-feature of a big event.

Edge: Donaire.

In 2012, Donaire fought then Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka in the main event of an HBO Boxing After Dark offering. Their fight was eclipsed by the brutal junior welterweight
war between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado in what is one of the best fights of the last three years.

In the same arena as 2012, Donaire vs. Walters will complement Saturday night?s main event card between middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin and brave Mexican, Marco Antonio Rubio.

And just like what the Rios-Alvarado co-feature did on 2012, Donaire vs. Walters has the potential to steal the show from Golovkin and Rubio tonight in Carson California.

With two fighters wanting to prove who the best is in their class, and with fists capable of sending each other to the canvas, expect a dangerous, thrilling and intriguing match between the two.

Get your popcorn ready folks.


You can reach the author at rrmaze24@aol.com and on Twitter @Freemazon910.



Click here for a complete listing of columns by this author.

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