Boxing Preview: Donaire takes on Walters Tonight in California

130410-donaire-rigondeaux-donaire-1024Tonight (October 18, 2014) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, Middleweight phenom Gennady Golovkin faces Marco Antonio Rubio in a match that sees Golovkin favored at (-5000). The co-main event at Featherweight is a much more intriguing match-up with a much tighter line as Nonito Donaire comes in a slight underdog (+110) to undefeated Nicholas Walters of Jamaica, who is retuning at (-130). Long time observers of the lower weight classes remember Nonito Donaire had been up in many of the pound for pound top 10 lists since he compiled a 30 fight winning streak and collected world title belts in four weight classes and recently added the WBA Super World Featherweight title. In April of 2013 he had his 30 fight win streak snapped when he lost a unanimous decision to Guillermo Rigondeaux in a fight that had Donaire favored at the books going in. The loss took a lot of the steam out of Donaire’s ascendance, and he dropped off of the pound for pound lists, ceding his spot to Rigondeaux. The match with Rigondeaux was at Super Bantamweight, and Donaire, who is now 31, moved up to the Featherweight class after that showing because the weight drop had become a struggle. Donaire didn’t shine in his next outing, as he played it close with aging former rival Vic Darchinyan, however he did get the win. His next outing left open questions as well, as he won the WBA Super World belt from Simpiwe Vetyaka on a technical stoppage after just 5 rounds, because Donaire was bloodied by an accidental head butt. Donaire was ahead on the cards however and he had Vetyaka down in the fourth round but it was a dissatisfying ending that didn’t propel him back to where he was in terms of rankings. In Walters, he faces a confident, charismatic and undefeated champion who is stepping up to main event status. Back in May, he fought and defeated Vic Darchinyan handily on the same card as Vetyaka versus Donaire, so this showdown has been something that has been in the works since at least the start of 2014. In his match with Darchinyan, Walters made short work of him, ending the fight in the fifth. The books may be comparing his performance against Darchinyan with Donaire’s fight with Darchinyan where one judge had it tied and draw the conclusion that this fight should be this close. For Donaire fans, he was a 2 to 1 favorite going into the Rigondeaux fight, so it has been an extremely long time since you could bet Donaire as an underdog. Walters, who is 28 years old, is coming into his own and he looks like a new, fresh face for boxing. The fact is that the light weight divisions are rich in talent, and both men will have a lot of options after this fight if they are coming off a win. What is at stake here is Donaire’s ability to hold of the inevitable slide that comes with age and retain his spot among boxing’s elite. For Walters, he wants to come in and send Donaire down the ladder, taking his place.

Written by Miguel

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