The end of the Filipino Flash? Donaire loses belt by brutal TKO

Nonito Donaire loses by knokcout to Nicholas Walters. (Photo from HBO Boxing's Twitter account)

Is this the end of the road for the Filipino Flash?

Nonito Donaire lost his World Boxing Association (WBA) super world featherweight title as he was knocked out by power-punching Nicholas Walters of Jamaica in their title bout in Carson, California. The end came with one second left in the sixth round, the exact same round Walters predicted would see the end for Donaire.

Walters remains undefeated with 25 wins, 21 coming via knockout. Donaire on the other end falls to 33 wins with three losses. He has now lost two out of his last four fights.

After being down in Round 3 and losing the next two rounds, Donaire knew he needed to change it up to alter the outcome of the fight. He went on a careless attack as he missed a big left hook at the tail end of round 6. With the Filipino Flash out of position after lunging in, Walters landed a huge counter overhand right that floored Donaire again.

The Filipino tried his best to get up but he was in no position to continue, and referee Raul Caiz, Jr. waived the fight off. The official result was a technical knockout at 2:59 of the sixth round.

“Thank you for the opportunity,” Walters said inside the ring. “ I respect you.” Donaire, with a puffed up and bleeding right eye, could do nothing but offer his congratulations to the new WBA featherweight super champion.

“I worked hard. This victory didn’t just come like that. Donaire is a super great boxer. Category after category, he has won,” Walters said. “He caught me a few shots earlier also. I fought one of the best and it gave me the opportunity to show my talent to the world.”

Donaire had his best moment in the second round as he clocked Walters with one of his patented left hooks. Back in the lower divisions, this punch usually spelled the end of the fight when he lands it clean. However, against a bigger and stronger fighter in the featherweight division, it no longer had the same effect.

“I got a little bit confident and he caught me with a good shot. When I went to my corner, they were excited but I told them to calm down. I recuperated after that shot but I got the job done,” Walters said.

The first three rounds were close with Donaire having a slight edge in the first two. He was fighting well in the third round until he was floored with an uppercut late in the round. Donaire never recovered from that point.

After receiving Walters' best punch of the night, Donaire fell flat on his face reminiscent of how he knocked out Vic Darchinyan. This was the first time the Donaire lost by stoppage, which should be a clear indication that the featherweight division might not be for him.

“I’m sorry I fell short. I still love you guys. Hopefully you still love me,” Donaire said. “He knocked the [expletive] out of me,” Donaire said. “I’m not going to take away anything from Walters. I was at my best. I’ve never ever trained this hard. But he was so big I couldn’t move around the ring.”

Asked whether he’s done or if he’ll move down in weight again, Donaire was non-comittal.

“I gotta go back to the drawing board. I can’t compete against Walters,” Donaire said. “We’ll look at it. We’ll decide.”

"This torch will not be passed. It will be violently seized," said HBO commentator Jim Lampley.