Nicholas Walters defeated Miguel Marriaga to successfully send the featherweight title he once owned into vacancy. Marriaga, who built a following in the lead up to this fight based on his two armature wins against Walters, was thoroughly dominated. Walters headlined his first true HBO “Boxing After Dark” as the A-side, and he did it on the grandest stage of them all in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Walters was stripped of his WBA featherweight title after he failed to make weight twice.
Walters won a unanimous decision by out throwing and out landing Marriaga through 12. Walters and Marriaga came out swinging in the opening round, but Marriaga wasn’t able to land anything significant. Walters, on the other hand, put in solid work to the body.
Walters began to turn in a few solid rounds in a row when Marriaga stepped it up in the fourth. He landed some decent power shots, but there was a noticeable difference between Walters’ solid power punches and Marriaga’s lack of straight punches.
The fight became dull, and Walters knew he was no longer in trouble. He did, however, score a knockdown in the 9th round.
The fight fell back into its lackluster grove, and both men appeared to resemble tacticians more than power punchers.
Walters dug deep in the 12th and final round as he hurt Marriaga, but it wasn’t enough to finish the fight and so we went to the scorecards. Walters won a unanimous decision with the scores of 119-108, 118-109 and 117-111.
Now, the question will be whether or not Walters will be matched with Vasyl Lomachenko next. Lomachenko’s team has stated that they would fight Walters above the featherweight limit. However, the fight means more at featherweight, but it will mean a lot less if Walters forces the issue of making 126lbs when he physically can’t.