Jamaica’s “Axe-Man” Nicholas Walters puts his unbeaten record and WBA 126lb strap on the line on Saturday night when he takes on Colombian Miguel Marriaga at Madison Square Garden.
With 18 early finishes from 20 fights, Marriaga presents a significant danger to the dominant Walters – and holds a notable amateur victory of the Jamaican champion – something he will be looking to repeat at the weekend.
In his last two defences, Walters has stopped both Vic Darchinyan and Nonito Donaire and will be looking to further continue his knockout streak against the Colombian, who himself, is confident of pulling the upset.
One man keeping a close eye on proceedings will be Welshman Lee Selby, who just picked up the IBF strap with a sizzling performance against Evgeny Gradovich almost two weeks ago.
With names like Lomachenko, Russell Jr and Walters at the upper echelons of the division, the featherweights are one of the most competitive brackets out there and Selby has spoken to Sky Sports about how he sees the division’s future;
“Lomachenko is probably the best amateur of my era with 300-odd fights and just one defeat. Then you have Nicholas Walters – who punches extremely hard with both hands, so that’s a risky fight and then there’s Gary Russell Jr, who probably has the fastest hands in boxing at the moment.”
After his masterclass against Gradovich – who was the IBF fighter of the year, Lee Selby has rubber stamped his name on a red-hot division – and after a couple of defences, will be looking towards the big unification fights next year.