Madison Square Garden, New York, June 13
By Peter Lim
Given Walters' and Marriaga's knockout rates of 84 percent and 90 percent respectively, it's safe to predict this bout will not go the distance. But while Marriaga is largely an unknown entity, Walters has had his mettle tested against better-caliber opponents and passed with flying colors, most notably in his last fight with Nonito Donaire.
It might take Walters a few rounds to find the chinks in the Colombian's armor but once he does, he methodically dismantles and destroys him. The Jamaican repeatedly catches Marriaga flush with right uppercuts, crosses and hooks for a fourth-round TKO in what turns out to be a suspenseful and entertaining scrap.
What looked to be a potential Fight of the Year candidate turned out to be a gross size mismatch due to Walters' inability to make weight. It looked like a human teenager fighting an adult neanderthal. Although Marriaga didn't win the now-vacated title, the fact that he finished the fight on his feet against a monster with such
a considerable size advantage is a victory in and of itself.