By Ronnie Nathanielsz
WORLD Boxing Association featherweight super champion Nonito Donaire was chopped down by the “Axe Man” Nicholas Walters, the regular champion, who fulfilled his prediction of knocking out the five-division world champion in the sixth round.
The Jamaican champion achieved the feat with a thunderous right to the head at 2:59 of the round to drop Donaire, who appeared to beat the count, but he was on wobbly legs, forcing referee Raul Caiz Jr. to embrace him and lead him to his corner.
In a tremendous show of sportsmanship, both men hugged and complemented each other profusely, with Donaire telling Walters: “You are my favorite fighter now.”
It was the first knockout that Donaire suffered in his amazing career with his record now dropping to 33-3, with 21 knockouts, while Walters kept his unblemished record of 25-0, with 21 knockouts.
In a post-fight interview with BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard/Viva Sports, Dodong Donaire said Walters was “too big and too strong and he could handle Nonito’s power.”
He said they have decided to move down to 122 (super bantamweight), where he had his finest moments and was named Fighter of the Year in 2012, with four smashing victories including knockout wins over WBC super champion Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan and Jorge “Travieso” Arce of Mexico.
Dodong Donaire agreed with the stoppage by referee Caiz Jr. and told BoxingScene/Manila Standard he would have “jumped in to stop it himself because his son would have gotten hurt and there was no need for that because he fought with all of his heart and even though he lost, nobody booed him. In fact, they applauded Nonito.”