From the beginning, it was clear WBA featherweight champion Nicholas "Axe Man" Walters (23-0, 19 KO) would have his way with Alberto "Kichis" Garza (25-6-1). Walters scored a dominant fourth-round KO victory over Garza on Saturday night in Corpus Christi, Texas. The fight was an explosive precursor to HBO Boxing After Dark's exciting triple-header.
Later on Saturday, Nonito Donaire will rematch Vic Darchinyan, Demetrius Andrade will take on Vanes Martirosyan for the WBO junior middleweight title, and Mikey Garcia will battle Rocky Martinez for the latter's WBO super featherweight title.
Walters didn't want to hold up the feature bouts, so he made quick work of Garza.
Coming into the fight, Walters was ranked just eighth among featherweights by Ring Magazine. At the very least, he solidified his place as a Top 10 featherweight in the world.
In the first round, he stunned Garza with a two-punch combination. Garza survived but only prolonged the inevitable. The Axe Man's speed and power were on a different level. The 27-year-old Jamaican grabbed the attention of any American boxing fans who hadn't heard of him before Saturday night.
Garza showed good toughness, but it was just a matter of time before the Axe Man claimed another victim. The official Top Rank Boxing Twitter account had an accurate assessment of the early action.
ESPN's Dan Rafael summed up Walters' night.
Walters raised his impressive KO percentage to 86 percent with the win. While he isn't yet a household name in the featherweight division, this impressive performance on the undercard of a major HBO event will help push him to the next level.
The KO artist has stopped nine of his last 10 opponents. It is unlikely he'll be at the top of the wish list of any of his fellow featherweight champions.
It would be great to see him take on WBC champion Jhonny Gonzalez, who dethroned Abner Mares in August. Also, a bout with newly crowned WBO champion Orlando Salido could also be interesting. Salido just regained a share of the featherweight crown when he stopped Orlando Cruz in the seventh round of their October meeting.
Walters has explosive power and fights a crowd-pleasing style. The boxing community should warm up to him with more exposure.
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