By Jake Donovan
Nicholas Walters continues to plead his case as among the best featherweights in the world. The unbeaten knockout artist loked flawless in a three-knockdown 5th round stoppage of Vic Darchinyan in their featherweight title fight Saturday evening in Macau, China.
Because of the competitive nature of his rematch knockout loss to Nonito Donaire last fall, it was believed that Darchinyan could still make a statement in the featherweight division. A former flyweight and super flyweight champion, the 38-year old was competing in his 5th weight class and against a tough-as-nails featherweight titlist.
The difference in size and age was clear cut from the opening bell. Walters, a handful for any prime featherweight, was way too much to handle for this version of Darchinyan, historically a pressure fighter who prides himself on the knockout. Outgunned, the Australia-based Armenian had no chance here.
Walters recognized this early and never took his foot off of the accelator. A swift uppercut deposited Darchinyan in round two, the first knockdown of the bout. Walters remained calm and collected, confident that he could end the fight any time he wanted.
Darchinyan fought as hard as he could in rounds three and four, not necessarily winning either frame but offering a credible account of himself.
Disaster struck in round five, as Walters went in for the proverbial kill. Damage was done to the body and upstairs, leaving Darchinyan dazed as he was willed to the canvas. The former champ was badly hurt, bouncing up immediately off of the canvas as he staggered to a neutral corner.
Walters moved in for the finish, cutting off the ring and letting his hands go as Darchinyan ate several more power shots. A final left hook left Darchinyan flat on his back, prompting referee Raul Caiz Jr. to stop the contest without issuing a count.
The official time was 2:22 of round five.
Walters cruises to 24-0 (20KO), scoring his fourth straight knockout. The win marked the second defense of his portion of the featherweight title he acquired in a 7th round knockout of Daulis Prescott in their Dec. '12 vacant title fight.
Darchinyan falls to 39-7-1 (28KO) in what many hope to be his last ever appearance at the championship level. The 38-year old was a proven commodity in the lower weight classes, having led a brilliant career worthy of Hall-of-Fame consideration.
The bout aired live on Top Rank's streaming site , and served in chief support to yet another featherweight title fight between defending champ Simpiwe Vetyeka and former three-division titlist Nonito Donaire.
ADDITIONAL FIGHT REPORTS FROM MACAU
Gradovich-Miskirtchian report: http://www.boxingscene.com/gradovich-survives-knockdown-outbox-miskirtchian--78421
Undercard report: http://www.boxingscene.com/vetyeka-donaire-undercard-results-tso-avalos-win--78415
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox