Top Rank announced today that 2012 Fighter of the Year and four-division world champion NONITO “The Filipino Flash” DONAIRE and undefeated world champion NICHOLAS “The Axe Man” WALTERS will battle it out to determine the undisputed World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight world champion. Donaire vs. Walters will take place Saturday, October 18, at StubHub! Center in Carson, Calif. It will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The telecast will also feature WBA/IBO middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin defending his titles against World Boxing Council (WBC) interim middleweight champion Marco Antonio “El Veneno” Rubio. Golovkin vs. Rubio and its undercard are presented by K2 Promotions and GGG Promotions, in association with Promociones Del Pueblo
Donaire and Walters boast a combined record of 57-2 (41 KOs) — a winning percentage of 97% and a victory by knockout ratio of 72%. When it comes to these two world featherweight champions, “You could have knocked me over with a feather,” is more than just a figure of speech!
“I am very excited for this fight. We are doing everything we can to be ready for everything Walters brings on October 18,” said Donaire.
“This is my dream fight. It’s now the time to show everyone who is the best 126 pound world champion in the entire world,” declared Walters.
“The featherweight division has a rich history with epic matchups, said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank. “Nonito Donaire and Nicholas Walters are two of the great champions in the division today. This promises to be an entertaining, exciting world title unification battle.”
“Nonito Donaire is a four-division world champion and former fighter of the year, who always delivers for fans by challenging the toughest competition, which is precisely what he’ll be facing when he fights undefeated power-puncher Nicholas Walters in a superb featherweight championship co-feature on October 18 at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA, live on HBO World Championship Boxing,” said Peter Nelson, vice president, programming, HBO Sports.
Donaire (33-2, 21 KOs), a native of General Santos City, Philippines, now living in Las Vegas, has been a consensus Top-10 pound-for-pound fighter for several years. He returned to the top of the mountain as a world champion in his last fight, on May 31, at The Venetian Macao, dethroning defending WBA featherweight champion Simphiwe Vetyeka via a vicious five-round technical decision. His banner year in 2012 included four world championship victories. He beat former world champion Israel Vazquez, Jr. to capture the vacant WBO junior featherweight title, then unified the title by defeating IBF junior featherweight champion Jeffrey Mathebula. Donaire collected his third belt of the year by knocking out WBC Diamond Belt super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka, ending Nishioka’s eight-year, 16-bout, winning streak. Donaire concluded his magnificent year by blasting out Mexican icon Jorge Arce in the third round and sealing his 2012 Fighter of the Year honors while extending his 12-year, 30-bout winning streak. He lost his title to undefeated Cuban sensation and WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux in a title unification bout at a sold-out Radio City Music Hall on April 13, 2013. Career highlights for Donaire also include knockout victories of defending IBF flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan, former WBA bantamweight champion Wladimir Sidorenko, and defending WBC/WBO bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel, ending Montiel’s 25-bout winning streak. That victory was named the 2011 Knockout of the Year. Donaire’s ended 2013 with a ninth-round knockout victory of Darchinyan in their eagerly-awaited rematch. Donaire has held a world title every year dating back to 2007. Three of his last four victories have been by way of knockout.
Walters (24-0, 20 KOs), of Montego Bay, Jamaica, enters this fight having won 10 of his last 11 fights by knockout. He captured the vacant WBA featherweight title on December 12, 2012, knocking out Daulis Presscott (26-1, 19 KOs) in the seventh round. He has successfully defended the title twice — both by knockout — stopping Alberto Garza and former two-division world champion Vic Darchinyan in the fourth and fifth rounds, respectively. A former amateur standout who collected gold medals at the 2007 Pan American Games Qualifier III and the 2005 and 2007 Caribbean Championships, Walters is known for his expert boxing skills and movement and two-fisted punching power that are at a caliber of a much higher weight class.