Nicholas Walters proved his time is now by stopping defending WBA super world featherweight champion Nonito Donaire in round six at a sold-out StubHub Arena in Carson, California Saturday night.
The bout started slow.
Walters (25-0, 21 KOs) tried to establish his jab. Donaire (33-3. 21 KOs) fired his dangerous left hook. Near the middle of the round the punch landed. Walters connected with a right at the bell.
In round two, Donaire landed a combination to the head and body. Walters, 28, worked his jab, but near the end of the stanza, a heavy combination by Donaire staggered him. The rangy challenger literally collapsed into the arms of the referee.
Walters recovered quickly. In round three, he sent Donaire to his knee’s with a short uppercut. Donaire had been winning the round up to that point.
Donaire tried to box in round four, but Walters long jab was landing consistently. He also snapped Donaire’s head back with two hooks.
By the end of the heat, Donaire was bleeding from a cut over his right eye.
Donaire, 31, decided to make a stand in round five. He found Walters with his lethal left hook, but the native of Jamaica absorbed it. Walters stalked after Donaire and connected with a big right hand. He also went to the body with authority. Since the knockdown, he had taken over the fight.
In what turned out to be the last round, Donaire circled. He had tasted the younger man’s power and didn’t like it. Walters walked after him confidently. Donaire found Walters with a lead right hand, but that punch, unlike his left, doesn’t pack a lot power.
With Donaire backing up, both fighters wound up and unloaded shots. Two right hands, one off the temple and the last one near the back of Donaire’s head, put the former four-division champion on his face.