Saturday, June 13 from The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Jamaica native and undefeated power puncher Nicholas Walters(25-0-0, 21 KOs) takes on Colombia’s Miguel Marriaga(20-0-0 18 KOs) as the main event on HBO Boxing After Dark.
The 29-year-old Walters, fighting mostly out of Panama, has a whopping knockout ratio of 84 percent and over the past year has added two notable wins to his professional record in his U.S. crossover.
Trained by his father and former boxer, Job Walters, the “Axe Man” scored a fifth-round knockout over three division world champion, Vic Darchinyan in the earlier portion of 2014, making a defense of his WBA title. Only to precede his win with another impressive sixth round TKO victory over The Filipino Flash, Nonito Donaire.
Nicholas Walters is yet another force at the 126 lbs division, explosive when needed, uses effective aggression, and packs an ice uppercut. However, Marriaga is not coming to play nice. The Scorpion looked very good in his last fight against Christopher Martin bringing in a sixth round stoppage.
Although this would be Miguel’s second fight in the United States, him and Walters have previously met in the pre-trial Olympics in 2008.
Marriaga defeated Walters, keeping the Jamaican from advancing to the Olympics. Now on the professional platform, both undefeated fighters must meet again.
Fighting and encountering previous opponents and or rivals is something that is very common among boxers. WBC middleweight champ, Miguel Cotto faced Kelson Pinto in September of 2004 for a vacant WBO junior welterweight title. Pinto had previously fought Cotto twice in the amateurs, earning victories over the Puerto Rican both times.
The third time they clashed would be the last with Cotto opening up strong and applying ruthless pressure, knocking Pinto down three times and scoring a TKO stoppage in the sixth round.
Last year’s prospect of the year, Felix Verdejo (17-0 13 KOs), will also be featured on this Top Rank card. Verdejo will be making his HBO debut and first WBO Latino title defense, facing undefeated Mexican American, Ivan Najera (16-0, 8 KOs).
This bout will be a 10-round showdown between undefeated fighters. Excited Puerto Rican fans will be counting on a win from their countryman, due to the fact that the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade will be taking place along Fifth Avenue the next day, Sunday June 14, 2015.
Will Walters leave being the victor and finally avenge his loss? Or will history repeat its course? Will Verdejo leave with his perfect record still intact or will Najera pull off the
Tune into HBO Boxing After Dark on June 13 to see the scrap in the big apple, which will be broadcast live from Madison Square Garden starting at 10:00 pm, EST.
All photos by Chris Farina/Top Rank