Tue | Jun 15, 2021

‘Axeman’ will return in 2020 – Jones - Boxing boss expects major boost from expected Nicholas Walters comeback

Published:Sunday | December 29, 2019 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Vasyl Lomachenko (right) of Ukraine, dodges a punch by Nicholas Walters of Jamaica during a WBO junior lightweight title boxing match Saturday, November 26, 2016, in Las Vegas.
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President of the Jamaica Boxing Board (JBB) Stephen ‘Bomber’ Jones says he is expecting former WBA World Featherweight champion Nicholas ‘Axeman’ Walters to make a return to the ring in 2020, after a three-year absence.

Jones noted that the hard-hitting Jamaican’s return would provide a major lift for the sport in Jamaica and would also be welcomed globally, given his success in the ring.

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, when the Jamaican quit in the sixth round.

He was then scheduled to face Mexico’s Arturo Santos Reyes in August 2017, but had to cancel that bout because he had the flu.

Jones said that he has been in contact with Walters in recent times and that the veteran boxer has expressed his intention to return to the ring.

FULLY COMMITTED

“The last conversation that I had with him (Walters) a few months ago, he was fully committed to coming back into the fighting game,” said Jones.

“His mind was right and he just had to get himself back into fighting shape, and not only just to make the weight, but make sure that his fitness is at a high level,” Jones continued.

“I am not sure how far he is in that (training) regard, but I am encouraged ... because being not just fan, I think he was one of the most incredible talents and enough time has past and his coming back would have to be anytime now,” Jones said.

He underlined that Walters, who currently resides in Panama, has proven himself to be one of the best boxers in the world whenever he steps into the ring, and he noted that his return would be a significant boost for the sport in Jamaica.

“I think that (would) be a major boost for boxing in Jamaica because Nicholas Walters is still a tremendous name in boxing,” Jones said. “I think it will also be a major boost for boxing worldwide because he was a world champion and he fought some incredible opponents and he had some incredible wins,” he said.

“I think a fully trained Nicholas Walters coming back would be great for the sport, and it would be definitely be good for Jamaica, because he has been a great ambassador for us in boxing,” Jones stated.