Walters suffers technical knockout in fifth round
Friday's bout between former IBF title contender Hugo Pineda and up-and-coming Zach "Jungle Boy" Walters was a contest between experience and youth. Chalk one up for experience. The Colombia-born Pineda showed despite his age (35) and inactivity ...
Friday's bout between former IBF title contender Hugo Pineda and up-and-coming Zach "Jungle Boy" Walters was a contest between experience and youth.
Chalk one up for experience.
The Colombia-born Pineda showed despite his age (35) and inactivity (four bouts in seven years) that he's still got it. He dropped Duluth's Walters with a technical knockout at 2:24 in the fifth of six scheduled rounds after landing a right hook that caught Walters dead in the eyes before a partisan crowd of 5,128.
It was the first time Walters (15-2, 11 KOs) had been knocked out.
"Pineda just had too much experience. Way too much experience," said Chuck Horton, Walters' manager. "We rolled the dice taking on a guy who had that much experience. We knew he'd be everything we thought he'd be. Zach fought like a true fighter, but Pineda caught him square and the ref stopped the fight. It was a good decision."
The bout was the sixth fight in an eight-bout card dubbed "Boxing is Back" to celebrate the return of the Minnesota Boxing Commission.
Pineda (39-3, 28 KOs) controlled the first three rounds before Walters, who has made a habit of starting slow and then coming on late, in large part because of his conditioning, fought back in the fourth with his best round.
The fifth round was fairly even before the left-handed Pineda, who lost an IBF welterweight title bout to Felix Trinidad in 1999, showed he's crafty with both hands, landing a big right to drop Walters. The 25-year-old Walters answered the 10-count but wasn't in shape to continue.
Walters' previous loss was also to a left-handed fighter.
"No more Southpaws, not unless it's for a title," vowed Horton. "Zach was just starting to come around and them, Bam! He took a big shot, and that was it. It can happen to anybody."
Robb Leer, who served as a media liaison for the event, said there was a strong contingent of Duluth fans in the audience.
"You could hear a lot of people chanting, 'Jungle Boy! Jungle Boy!'" Leer said.
Walters wasn't available for comment, but Horton said the hardest part for Walters is feeling he let his fans down. Afterward, Minnesota Boxing Commissioner Scott LeDoux, a former Minnesota Duluth lineman and boxing great, had some words of encouragement for Walters.
"Scott told Zach that he lost three in a row before he came back to make a million bucks," Horton said. "The fans were just crazy out there. They love him. We all love him. Yeah, it's tough, but it's just a bump in a road. He'll be back. He'll fight another day."
* Walters' friend and fellow Horton's Gym boxer Andy "Kaos" Kolle (11-1, eight KOs) had no trouble with his opponent, knocking out Bobby Kliewer of Maplewood, Minn., at 2:18 in the second round. Kolle improved to 11-1 with eight knockouts, while Kliewer fell to 1-1-1.
Boxing is Back
At the Target Center, Minneapolis
Bout 1 (middleweight) -- Phillip Williams, Minneapolis, def. Jake Hecht, Kansas City, 1:46 Round 1 KO
Bout 2 (super middleweight) -- John Schmidt, Minneapolis, def. Ray Walker, St. Paul, 3:00 Round 1 KO (Walker didn't come out for the second round)
Bout 3 (middleweight) -- Andy "Kaos" Kolle, Fergus Falls, Minn., def. Bobby Kliewer, Maplewood, Minn., 2:18 Round 2 KO
Bout 4 (featherweight) -- Wilton Hilario, St. Louis Park, Minn., def. Elvis Martinez, Dominican Republic, 2:57 Round 1 KO
Bout 5 (featherweight) -- Allen "American Boy" Litzau, St. Paul, def. Juan Polo Perez, Miami, six rounds, unanimous decision
Bout 6 (light heavyweight) -- Hugo Pineda, Columbia, def. Zach "Jungle Boy" Walters, Duluth, 2:24 Round 5 TKO
Bout 7 (middleweight) -- Matt "The Predator" Vanda, St. Paul, Minn., def. Dillon Carew, 10 rounds, unanimous decision
Bout 8 (Minnesota middleweight title bout) -- Anthony "The Bullett" Bonsante, Shakopee, Minn., def. Troy "TNT" Lowry, St. Paul, Minn., 3:00 Round 9 TKO (Lowry didn't come out for Round 10)
Note: Vanda will fight Bonsante Jan. 12 for the Minnesota middleweight title.
JON NOWACKI covers local sports. He can be reached weeknights at (218) 723-5305 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .