Donaire vs. Walters: Is This a Must-Win Fight for Nonito?

Nonito Donaire - Chris Farina - Top Rank4
Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank

18 months have now passed since “The Filipino Flash,” Nonito Donaire was climbing the pound-for-pound rankings at a rapid rate.

The former Super Bantamweight kingpin was demolishing top opposition with relative ease, becoming the heir apparent to legendary Filipino slugger Manny Pacquiao.

But after a schooling suffered at the hands of the supremely talented Guillermo Rigondeaux, Donaire’s stock instantly declined, leading to a move up in weight and hopefully a resurgence to his former glory.

Now operating at Featherweight, Donaire has struggled to make a return to the summit of the sport. After two unconvincing victories against Vic Darchinyan and Simpiwe Vetyeka, the jury is still very much out on the once formidable Filipino.

So as the showdown with Jamaican danger man Nicholas Walters looms on the horizon, is this a must win fight for Nonito?

The reigning WBA Regular Featherweight champion, Walters, has been bulldozing his way to this shot at Donaire, with the man known as the “Axe Man” chopping down opponents in devastating fashion.

Last time out, the 28-year-old champion squared off against former two-time Donaire foe Vic Darchinyan on a bumper card in Macao back in May. The fight was expected to be one of Walters’ toughest tests to date.

However, it was quite the contrary as the rock-solid puncher disposed of a very game challenger in Darchinyan by blasting him out of the ring in only five painstaking rounds.

The performance further cemented Walters’ credentials as an elite level fighter.

Therefore, can Walters continue his meteoric rise to the peak of the Featherweght division or can Donaire bring the feared Jamaican back down to earth with an almighty bump?

If Donaire is to win on October 18, then the Filipino Flash will find himself one step closer to recovering his once very promising career. Donaire is unquestionably an awesome fighter, but the defeat to Rigondeaux has scared him, leaving him with a regretful hangover.

The sooner he can eradicate those demons, the sooner we can see the real Nonito return.

This fight is undoubtedly a must win for Nonito Donaire and one he is definitely capable of winning. On the other hand, it is also a fight he can very well lose and if the outcome proves to be the latter, then it could turn out to be the first nail in the once highly rated Filipino’s coffin.

A year and a half can be a long time in boxing.

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