Sport

Sharp & ready!

Jamaican ‘Axeman’ faces Colombia’s Prescott for WBA Featherweight Title

BY HOWARD WALKER AND DANIA BOGLE Observer staff reporters

Saturday, December 08, 2012    

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TWENTY-TWO years after Richard 'Shrimpy' Clarke failed, Nicholas "Axeman" Walters aims to become the first Jamaican boxer to win a world title fight on local soil, when he trades punches with Colombia's Daulis Prescott at the National Indoor Sports Centre (NISC) today.

The likes of Trevor Berbick, Mike McCallum, Simon Brown, Lloyd Honeyghan, Glen Johnson, Oneil Bell, Otis Grant, and Uriah Grant have all carried the black, gold and green flag of this small nation proudly, but have all won their titles fighting overseas.

Walters, 26, ranked number one and Prescott, 26, the number-five ranked boxer, will battle in the main event of the night, for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) Featherweight crown in what is expected to be a close and exciting affair scheduled to start at 10:30 pm.

Walters, with a record of 21-0-0 with 17 knockouts, is aiming to join a list of approximately nine other Jamaicans to win a world title, with the last being female boxer Alicia Ashley, who captured the World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Bantamweight crown in July 2012.

'Axeman' Walters, the son of long-serving boxing trainer, Job Walters, is based in Panama with a Haitian manager in Jacques Deschamps and a Panamanian trainer in Celso Chavez.

He arrived in the island earlier this week exuding a lot of confidence and should start as favourite, especially with the backing of the Jamaican crowd.

The duo, along with the other contenders on the minor cards, weighed in at the Wyndham Hotel in Kingston, yesterday.

Walters, who weighed in at 124 3/4 lbs, was in a confident mood.

"I'm good. I'm little bit under the weight, but everything is ok. I'm feeling good, I'm ready, in good frame of mind, good condition, so it's just for me to do my job tomorrow (today). My coach is gonna tell me what to do and I'm gonna do it."

Walters, who is also fluent in Spanish, added: "Self-confidence is key in this and I'm pretty much confident. I'm super confident in this, fight. I'm feeling really great."

Speaking through an interpreter, the Colombian Prescott, who tipped the scale at 125 1/2 lbs, said that he was pretty confident as well.

"I'm gonna win the fight. I've been training a lot. I trust in me. I believe in me, in the training I've done, in the trainers, and in God."

The six-fight card with an international flavour to it — sponsored by Wray & Nephew in association with SportsMax — is dubbed 'Rumble on Jamrock' and is scheduled to start at 5:30 pm.

One of the supporting bouts will be an interesting welterweight match-up between Jamaicans Rikardo 'Surgeon' Smith and Sakima Mullings set for 8:35 pm.

Smith is the 2011 Wray & Nephew Contender Series winner, while Mullings claimed the Commonwealth Zonal title a few months after.

Only half a pound separated the two at their weigh-in — Smith tipped the scale at 148lbs, Mullings at 148 1/2.

There will be two female bouts, with Alysia Sanchez of Venezuela taking on Maria Elena Villalobos of Mexico for the WBA Super Bantamweight title at 6:15 pm, and Peru's Kina Malpartida challenging Marlena Hernandez for the Super Featherweight Title.

Hernandez was a late substitution and was not at yesterday's weigh-in. Malpartida's original opponent, Stacey Reile, of the USA, pulled out of the fight late after falling ill on Thursday morning.

Former Super Bantamweight champion Mauricio Reynoso of Peru will be up against Costa Rica's Jamie Barboza for the WBA Fedelatin Lightweight crown at 7:45 pm.

Two outstanding Jamaicans boxers, George Leslie 'Bunny' Grant and Richard 'Shrimpy' Clarke will be honoured by SportsMax for being contenders for world boxing titles on Jamaican soil.

Tickets are available at Wyndham Kingston, all Western Sports locations and at Total Gas Stations at Liguanea, Washington Boulevard, Mandeville, and Ocho Rios. Tickets cost $2,000 for general admission with any Wray & Nephew bottle cap and $5,000 for ringside inclusive of food and drinks.

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