Leroy Brown, Gleaner Writer
International championship boxing will return to Jamaica with the staging of the World Boxing Association's (WBA) featherweight title fight, dubbed 'Rumble on JamRock', at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday, December 8.
Jamaica's Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters, the national featherweight champion and the World Boxing Association's (WBA) No. 1 contender, will take on Colombia's Daulis Prescott, the No. 5 contender, in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBA featherweight title.
This announcement was made last night at a joint media briefing held at Fiction Lounge by SportsMax, who will be the major sponsor for the fight card, and the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control.
The title became vacant on Monday when the champion, Panamanian Celestino Caballero, told the WBA that rather than fight Walters for the mandated purse money of US$90,000, he would vacate the title. He is expected to move up to the super featherweight division.
There was a purse bid for the fight in September, and promoter Canelo Promotions from Mexico won with a bid of US$120,000. This was to have been shared 75 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, by Caballero and Walters. What is likely to happen now is that Walters and Prescott will each get US$60,000. That details are to be worked out with the promoter by the two parties.
Walters will be going into the fight with a 21-0 record, and 19 of those victories were within the distance. Prescott also has an impressive record, as he is 26-1 with 17 knockouts and the fight is, therefore, expected to be an explosive affair.
Walters said last night that he was thrilled to be fighting for the title at home, and for him it will be a dream come true. His one regret is that Caballero will not be his opponent.
At last night's launch, Jamaica Boxing Board President Stephen Jones, who spearheaded the negotiations to get the fight here, said that it was great to have international boxing in Jamaica again and to have the opportunity, through SportsMax, to showcase the talent of a brilliant Jamaica boxer to the world.
This will be the sixth world-title fight to be held in Jamaica, and if Walters wins, he will be the first Jamaican boxing champion to win the title in a local ring.
Olly McIntosh, the president and CEO of SportsMax, stated that they were confident that the 'Rumble on JamRock' promotion will be able to pull a record television audience, that their aim is for the fight to reach a wide international audience and that "this is a promotion for all Jamaica".
IMPRESSIVE SUPPORTING CARD
There will be an impressive supporting card and there could be another two title fights if arrangements can be finalised by the promoters. President Jones also made the point that he will be making an effort to get several local boxers on the card, as this will be a great opportunity for them to get international exposure.
SportsMax also announced that it will be taking this opportunity to honour several former boxing greats, and some of the names mentioned were former world champions Michael McCallum, Glen Johnson, Simon Brown and the late Trevor Berbick, former Commonwealth champions Bunny Grant, the late Percy Hayles and Richard 'Shrimpy' Clarke, and top contender Donovan 'Razor' Ruddock.
Tickets will be reasonably priced, it was announced, and will go on sale early to give spectators a chance to be part of the live audience. Tickets for Club VIP, VIP ringside and general seats are expected to go on sale on November 8.