Leroy Brown, Gleaner Writer
With only a day to go before the September 2 deadline for voluntary negotiations to take place for a world title fight between champion Celestin Caballero from Panama and Jamaica's Nicholas Walters, Jacques Deschamps, who manages Walters, has informed The Gleaner that not much has been accomplished over the past few weeks.
On August 2, the World Boxing Association (WBA) informed Walters by letter that he is now the mandatory challenger for their featherweight title now held by Caballero, and that both parties should start negotiations. The negotiation period, the letter stated, was from August 2 to September 2. It also stated that if either party expressed an unwillingness to negotiate, the WBA's Championship Committee could put the fight up for purse bid.
When a purse bid is announced, various promoters are written to and asked to send in bids for the fight and the highest bid is accepted by the WBA. The fight would be awarded to that promoter, and the purse money offered would be split between the champion and the challenger, usually on a 75-25 basis. Boxers on the whole, however, do not like purse bids as it usually means less money for them.
Caballero was recently signed by TMT (The Money Team), whose CEO is Curtis Jackson, the multimillionaire rapper known as 50-Cent. The other major shareholder is world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. They have a promotional agreement with Caballero and are in charge of the current negotiations.
Deschamps told The Gleaner that he has sent three emails to TMT but has not received any meaningful response from them to date.
"If nothing happens by September 2, then it will be the purse bid route and we will have up to October 2 to get something done," he said.
FIGHT COULD BE HELD HERE
If the fight goes to purse bid, he is of the opinion that Jamaica would have a good chance of getting the fight here. Jamaica, he pointed out, had been actively seeking sponsorship for an interim title fight, before Walters was named the mandatory challenger.
He said that he has been assured by the president of the Jamaica Boxing Board, Stephen Jones, that there were enough sponsors available to do the interim fight here, and those sponsors would be even happier to do a fight between Walters and the champion, as it would be a more prestigious event.
There is still a day remaining in the voluntary negotiation period, so everyone in the Walters camp is waiting with bated breath for a response from TMT.
"The clock is ticking and we are waiting to hear from TMT. If nothing happens by September 2, then we will go to the next stage. It is all part of the process," Deschamps said