Spotlight on The Axeman
Despite losing his World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight super title on the scales last June 13 when he came in one pound overweight, Jamaican boxing star Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters gave a superb performance at the Madison Square Garden Theatre against Miguel Marriaga to win his 12-round non-title fight by unanimous decision.
Tonight, he seeks to show the world that he is still championship material when he takes on American Jason Sosa over 10 rounds in the co-feature bout on an HBO promotion. The other featured bout is a WBA heavyweight title contest between Luis Ortiz and Bryant Jennings, and the venue is the Turning Stone Resort and Casino, in Verona, New York.
An interesting note with regard to tonight's fight is that it will be in the super featherweight division, which is 130 pounds. Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday, Walters said that the decision was taken by his camp to make him fight at the higher weight class, to see how he handles it.
"In boxing, three pounds of additional weight makes a lot of difference, and I just want to see how comfortable I am at that weight," he said.
He added: "There is big money in the featherweight class, particularly with Lomachenko on the horizon, but if I feel comfortable fighting at 130, I may just move up. There are some good boxers up there too, and the Japanese Super champion (Takashi) Uchiyama is a crowd pleaser. A fight against him would pull in some good money.
"I am just going into this fight with an open mind. I have trained hard, I am feeling good and very strong, and I am going to let it all hang out."
STUDYING THE OPPONENT
Asked about his opponent and whether he had watched tapes on him, Walters replied: "I don't watch tapes. My trainers do that and then make suggestions as to how I should fight an opponent. When we get into the ring, however, I see what my opponent has to offer, and I then show him what I have. After that, may the best man win."
Based on the records of the two fighters, tonight's fight promises to be explosive. Walters has a 26-0 record with 21 knockouts and Sosa has an 18-1 record with 14 knockouts. Sosa is on a 13-fight knockout streak. Walters has an 81 per cent knockout ration, while Sosa's is 64 per cent.
Because of these statistics, the predictions are that the fight will not go the distance, and Walters is starting as the favourite. Walters' dad, Job, who has been assisting with his training for over a month, is confident that his son will win.
"This will be an early Christmas present for Jamaica," Job Walters said.