‘Filipino Flash’ Nonito Donaire suffered a knockout from Jamaican boxer Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters who chopped him with a right hand in Round 6 to notch the World Boxing Association (WBA) Featherweight Championship at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Walters unleashed a powerful overhand right to the left temple that sent Donaire crumpling to the canvas bringing referee Raul Caiz to count him out at exactly 2:59 of the sixth round.
Donaire had never been knocked down in his career, but Walters (25-0, 21 KO) was clearly the bigger, stronger man from the outset of the bout.
“He knocked the (hell) out of me,” Donaire said. “I was at my best. I never trained this hard. He came out as tough as I thought he would be.”
Walters, who is three years younger than Donaire at 28, improved to 25-0 with his 21st career stoppage inside the distance in his first world title bout.
With an excellent strategy, the undefeated Jamaican boxer used his long jab to control the fight, setting up big power shots.
“I invited him in and then I caught him with that powerful shot,” Walters said as he added it was such a tough work to defeat a super world champion.
Donaire, who fell to 33-3, said he needed to re-evaluate his career plans in which he will potentially look to a lower weight class after being unable to cope and deliver well with the superior size of Walters.
The Filipino boxer had won titles at 112, 118 and 122 pounds and was defending for the first time the WBA crown he won in May at Macau over South African Simpiwe Vetyeka.
Just before the end of the second round, Donaire was able to land a left hook that stung Walters.
The Caribbean boxer, on the other hand, retaliated by inflicting Donaire’s first career knockdown with 30 seconds remaining in the third round, slamming a right uppercut into the champion’s chin.
In the fourth round, Walters opened a cut over the right eye of Donaire and used his superior reach to effectively jab and keep the Asian fighter at a distance until the final punch.
Donaire (33-3-1, 21 KO) rose from the final knockdown at the count of 9 but unable to return his vigor that signaled the end of the fight for him.
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