Walters remains unbeaten

The Axeman put the challenger down in the ninth and won a comfortable unanimous decsion with scores of 118-109, 117-110 and 119-108.

Walters though failed to make weight before the Madison Square Garden showdown and was stripped of the belt meaning only Marriage could have carried it out.

He gave it his all but was out-classed and blamed the one-sided fight on the weight issue.

“I got tired at the end,” said Marriage.

“He’s very strong for a fighter his size. I felt like I was fighting a welterweight.”

Walters is likely to move up to super-featherweight now but did get better as the fight went on.

It exploded into life in the eighth when a straight right wobbled Marriage and a repeat performance in the ninth had him down, although he stumbled backwards before going down.

He had no trouble making the count and although he tried to fight his way back in, Walters’ solid jab and that right again kept him in control until the final bell.

“He is a rugged guy,” Walters said.

“He hit me with a lot of head-butts and low blows. But I thought I won every round.”

Walters moved to 26-0-KO21 and is likely to become a possible opponent for Scott Quigg, who holds one of the WBA titles, or Carl Frampton in the super-bantamweight division.