Leroy Brown, Sunday Gleaner Writer
It will be a "Shootout in Texas" on November 9, as hard-hitting Mexican Alberto Garza is the man against whom World Boxing Association (WBA)featherweight champion Nicholas "The Axeman" Walters, will make his first title defence, at the American Bank Center Arena, in Corpus Christie, Texas.
After nine months searching for a promoter and a title fight, Walters finally signed with world-famous promoter Bob Arum's company, Top Rank, two weeks ago, and November 9 is the date set for him to make his long overdue first title defence.
Ever since Walters won the title on December 8, 2012, at Jamaica's National Sports Centre, with a seventh round technical knockout victory over Daulis Perscott from Colombia, Garza, who has been rated as high as No. 4 in the WBA featherweight division, has been seen as a likely opponent. Both Garza and his manager have stated publicly that they want to fight Walters, and Garza has even boasted that if he gets into the ring with the champion, he will "knock him out."
He has the credentials to do so, as his record shows him having 25 victories, 20 by knockout, five losses and one draw. Champion Walters on the other hand has 22 fights and has won them all, 18 inside the distance. Garza has a 63 per cent knockout record, while Walters has a 81 per cent knockout record and this is definitely a recipe for action and plenty of it.
An interesting footnote to Garza's record, is that among his five losses, three are by knockout. The message there for the Walters camp therefore is that although Garza is a dangerous puncher, he is vulnerable, and this undoubtedly thickens the plot.
Walters has not fought since he won the title and it was only his second fight in 2012, having defeated Hector Javier Marquez by decision in March in Panama. Garza also had only two fights in 2012. He stopped Adan Garcia in three rounds on March 3 and then on September 1, he scored a ninth round TKO victory over Nery Saguilan, to win the vacant IBF Latino super-featherweight title. Not having fought since then, he has therefore had a longer layoff than Walters and has stated that he is anxious to get a crack at the champion.
Tapes of Garza's fights show that he is a fighter who likes to take the attack to his opponent, and is not averse to taking a punch or two, in order to get close to his opponent. He brings the typical Mexican excitement to the ring and with Walters always willing to respond to a challenge, the ingredients are there for a competitive and entertaining fight.