Zach Walters was confident coming in, and his performance backed up his words.
Back on February 9 Walters wrote this in his blog: “My team was able to secure a fight for the African title through my living in Madagascar for 11 years as a missionary kid. Ever since I left the island I wanted to go back somehow. This fight is a big step in that direction. The big picture for this fight is to win [the] title, defend it in Africa a few times, then win a world title, and make my first defense of the world title in Madagascar.”
Tonight at the Mertz Mortorelli Gym in Superior Wisconsin, Walters took the first step down that road, forcing the opposing corner to retire their man, Carl Daniels (now 50-12, 32 kayos) before the beginning of the eighth round. According to Duluth News Tribune boxing writer Jon Nowacki, who was at ringside, Walter ignored a number of solid power punches to the head and body in the early rounds, and trapped the less conditioned Daniels against the ropes and abused him mercilessly with power punches to the body. Daniels’ corner threw in the towel between the seventh and eighth rounds, giving Walters the TKO win and the WBC African Boxing Union light heavyweight title.
Amusing: Walters, born in Madagascar to Christian missionary parents, had the Madagascar national anthem played before the fight, in addition to the Star Spangled Banner.