Wed | Apr 8, 2020

‘Axeman’ could return this year – Jones

Published:Tuesday | April 16, 2019 | 12:12 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

President of the Jamaica Boxing Board, Stephen ‘Bomber’ Jones, said he is encouraged by signs that suggest that former WBA featherweight champion Nicholas ‘Axeman’ Walters could make his return to the ring sometime this year.

The 33-year-old Walters’ last fight was in November 2016, a technical-knockout loss to Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO World Junior Lightweight Championship, a fight that saw the Jamaican quitting in the sixth round.

Walters was then scheduled to face Mexico’s Arturo Santos Reyes in August 2017, but that bout had to be cancelled after the Jamaican contracted the flu.

However, Jones told The Gleaner that he has spoken to Walters recently and that the boxer is upbeat and in great spirits despite being inactive over the past two and a half years.

“The last time I saw him (Walters), he seemed enthusiastic, and it was encouraging to hear him speak again like he did when he was on his way to the championships,” said Jones. “It was the first I have seen him like this, and so I am very encouraged. Obviously, anybody can take a blip in the road, and anybody can have a dip in the journey that they are on, and it is how you recover that is more important, and so when I spoke to him, I was very encouraged with the fact that he looks like he is ready.”

Jones added that there have been ongoing talks about the possibility of Walters making a return to the ring on home soil, noting that while nothing has been finalised, several offers have already been made.

“He has overcome the mishap and he has a good, a very good team with his dad (his coach, Job Walters) and the people that he trusts, and there are a lot of people that are talking to him and offering different avenues to which he could make a return, and then he will advise me,” Jones said.

“My own wish is that I hope it will happen in Jamaica, and I know that the conversations were held, and it is matter of when (the fight happens) exactly, but I hope it happens sometime this year,” Jones said.