Nonito Donaire and Nicholas Walters to Unify Titles on October 18th
Nonito Donaire Jr. and Nicholas Walters have agreed to a fight that will determine the true WBA Featherweight champion.
Although the contract for the bout has not been officially signed by both boxers, Donaire and Walters have agreed in principle to face each other in the undercard of the Gennady Golovkin-Marco Antonio Rubio middleweight title bout on October 18th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Donaire (33-2 with 21 knockouts), the BWAA’s 2012 Fighter of the Year, is currently the WBA’s “Super” featherweight title after dethroning Simpiwe Vetkeyka last May 31 in Macau, China. Walters (24-0 with 20 knockouts) won the vacant WBA “regular” belt by beating Daulis Prescott via 7th round TKO in 2012. Walters has since defended that title twice, the last of which was against Vic Darchinyan in the same fight card as Donaire-Vetyeka in Macau.
According to Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions which handles Golovkin, their stable has a limited roster and they needed another big name to make the Golovkin-Rubio an HBO fight. Fortunately, Top Rank needed a slot for Donaire, and with the fight dates for the rest of the year almost filled up, Top Rank agreed to match two of its top featherweights to add value to the Golovkin-Rubio card.
“They are both Top Rank fighters, but we wanted to make the best fight possible even if it didn’t involve our fighters in the co-feature.”Loeffler said.
Carl Moretti, Vice President of Top Rank Promotions, said: “These guys want to fight and we want them to fight, so this was a good spot for them.”
Changing of the guard?
While the bout is only a paper unification between two champions from the same organization, it promises to be a terrific fight between the experienced Donaire and the young Walters. The 28 year old Walters, known as the “Axe Man”is one of the fastest rising stars in the featherweight division. He is known for his vaunted knockout power which has claimed 20 out of his 24 opponents.
On the other hand, Donaire is coming off a controversial win over Vetyeka last May when he was “gifted” a technical decision win after the referee decided that he could not continue to fight after a bad cut caused by an accidental headbutt. Because Donaire scored a knockdown over Vetyeka in round four, he won the title on points after the stoppage before round five.
The “Filipino Flash” has looked flat in his two fight comeback trail, showing lack of the surgical precision and killer instinct that made him Boxer of the Year in 2012. If he continues his lackluster performance, we may see a changing of the guard in the featherweight ranks on October 18th with Walters ready to assume super stardom from Donaire.
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