by Tyson Bruce
Tonight’s HBO co-main event broadcast from the StubHub center in Carson, California between 4-weight division champion Nonito Donaire, 32-3-0-(21 KO’s), and rising featherweight star Nicolas Walters, 25-0-0-(21 KO’s), resembled two cobras slithering around each other waiting to strike. Walters, however, would be the man to deliver the knockout blow in the sixth round, as he deftly avoided a Donaire left-hook and countered with a vicious over hand right that utterly devastated the Pilipino.
The first round was a tense feeling-out process, as both men circled and tried to establish the proper timing and distance. Lightning would strike in the second round when an extremely alert Donaire made Walters pay for his aggression: he badly stunned the Jamaican with a counter left-hook. Walters was extremely lucky to hear the bell ring shortly thereafter.
After the second stanza, it was Walters that made the proper adjustments by using his size and a probing left jab to gradually break Donaire down. Walters turned the tables dramatically in the third round when he dropped Donaire with a nifty right uppercut. Donaire also suffered a cut over the right eye and began developing heavy swelling across his brow. Rounds four and five featured a great deal of wild but skillful exchanges between the two fighters.
The end would come in sensational fashion when Walters forced Donaire to the ropes in the sixth round. Donaire attempted to respond by lashing out with his trademark left-hook, but in doing so, fell prey to a Walters’ trap. Walters cleverly avoided the left-hook and laid Donaire out face first with an overhand right. It was a star-making performance for the twenty-eight year old Jamaican fighter. A possible showdown now looms with Olympic star Vasyl Lomachenko.
Golovkin vs. Rubio:
Middleweight titleholder Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 31-0-0-(28 KO’s) continued his reign of terror as he annihilated contender Marco Antonio Rubio, 59-7-1-(51 KO’s) in just two rounds. The fight was significant because it was Golovkin’s debut on the West coast and, henceforth, his introduction into the lucrative Latino market. Although the fight lasted under six minutes, it was virtually impossible not to be impressed with Golovkin’s vicious punching power.
Rubio bravely confronted Golovkin in the first round and seemed to handle the few power punches Golovkin landed, including a flush right cross, relatively well. Golovkin, as is his custom, patiently took his time in the opening stanza—attempting to get a read on what the Mexican challenger had to offer.
Golovkin obviously didn’t feel threatened, as the feeling out process did not last long. Golovkin waded into Rubio with an assault of power punches at the very start of the second round. He blinded Rubio with a jab and struck underneath with a right uppercut that badly stunned Rubio and forced him into the ropes. Golovkin then launched a corkscrew left hook that was delivered in arcing fashion and descended onto Rubio’s cranial region.
Rubio went down like a ton of bricks and, although conscious, appeared to have no control over his body. Rubio just barely beat the count, but the notoriously cautious referee Jack Reiss decided enough was enough.
In the post-fight interview, Golovkin saluted the largely Mexican crowed and called out lineal middleweight champion Miguel Cotto several times. Golovkin also comically referred to Mexican star Canelo Alvarez as a “good boy”.
Time will tell whether Golovkin will ever get his long overdue shot at the title, but it’s clearly evident that anyone but the best is no match for boxing’s most feared fighter.