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Notes: Walters, Wilder title defenses scheduled

Nicholas Walters will defend his featherweight title against Miguel Marriaga on June 13. AP Photo/Kin Cheung

A few notes from around the boxing world:

• Featherweight titleholder Nicholas Walters (25-0, 21 KOs), of Jamaica, will headline a “Boxing After Dark” card on June 13 (HBO) at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. Walters will square off with Colombian puncher Miguel Marriaga (20-0, 18 KOs), according to HBO. Walters, 29, known as “The Axe Man,” made a name for himself in October when he scored a thrilling knockout of Nonito Donaire in their world title fight. Marriaga, 27, has fought his entire career in either Colombia or Mexico except for his lone American appearance in October, when he knocked out Christopher Martin in the sixth round on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” in Santa Monica, California. Marriaga owns an amateur victory against Walters, defeating him in a 2008 Olympic qualifier.

In the co-feature, 2014 ESPN.com prospect of the year Felix Verdejo (17-0, 13 KOs), the rising lightweight star from Puerto Rico who turns 22 later this month, will face Ivan Najera (16-0, 8 KOs), 22, of San Antonio, on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day parade in New York.

• Heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs) will make his first defense on June 13 on Showtime, the network said. Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will be at home for the defense, which will take place at Bartow Arena, an 8,500-seat facility on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The 29-year-old Wilder’s opponent is not set but is likely to be Eric Molina (23-2, 17 KOs) of Raymondville, Texas. Both of Molina’s losses have come by first-round knockout, which is Wilder’s specialty. Molina, 33, has won five fights in a row since being knocked out in 2012 by longtime contender Chris Arreola. Wilder won the belt by unanimous decision against Bermane Stiverne in January in Las Vegas in Wilder’s first bout against a top-level opponent.

• When middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) makes his first title defense against former titleholder Daniel Geale (31-3, 16 KOs) on June 6 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, it will be the only bout televised on the HBO broadcast. HBO shows are generally at least doubleheaders, but the network said Cotto-Geale will be the only bout that night due to other programming obligations.