[PHOTOS] NICHOLAS WALTERS DECISIONS MARRIAGA, VERDEJO WINS ALMOST SHUTOUT

By Gary Mushrow (@gary9690), Photos: Mikey Williams (@4MikeyWilliams) / Top Rank

(New York) June 14 – Former WBA featherweight champion Nicholas ‘Axe Man’ Walters (26-0, 21KO’s) continued his unbeaten streak last night with a convincing points decision against fringe contender Miguel Marriaga (20-1, 18KO’s) at The Theatre, Madison Square Garden.

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Walters lost his world title on the scales before the fight, unable to shed the final weight to reach the 126 pound limit required.

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The fight still went ahead, with Walters an unconfirmed ten pounds heavier than Marriaga come fight night, bringing his future plans in the featherweight division under serious scrutiny.

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The 29 year old Walters, dropped Marriaga for the first time in his career in round four with a short counter right hand which had his opponent flailing on the ropes.

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The fight at large remained a chess match, with both fighters throwing heavy punches throughout, more testament to a hevayweight contest than a bout in the lower weight divisions.

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In the end, Walters avenged his amateur defeat to Marriaga with point score totals of 118-109, 117-110 and 119-108 tabled by judges ringside.

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In the co-main event, rising Puerto Rican star Felix ‘Diamante’ Verdejo (18-0, 13KO’s) bested Ivan Najera (16-1, 8KO’s) over ten rounds to retain his WBO latino lightweight title.

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The 22 year old Verdejo, scored a perfect left uppercut in round five which dropped Najera onto the seat of his pants, to the delight of the pro-Puerto Rican crowd.

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Verdejo chose to fight fire-with-fire against Najera all night and always looked in control and more powerful than his overwhelmed opponent.

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Another knockdown ensued in round seven, with Verdejo executing the perfect left hook off the back foot to put his opponent down again.

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At the end of the twelve rounds, judges tabled almost shutout scores of 100-88 twice and 99-89 in favour of continuing rising sensation Verdejo.

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Further down the card, rising light heavyweight star Seanie Monaghan (25-0, 16KO’s) improved his knockout ledger, with a tenth round technical stoppage of Fulgencio Zuniga (27-11-1, 24KO’s).

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