Leroy Brown, Gleaner Writer
Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters and Darius Prescott, the two fighters who will go against each other on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at the National Indoor Sports Arena for the World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight title, came out swinging at each other verbally yesterday as SportsMax launched its promotion for the six-fight card that has been dubbed J. Wray & Nephew Rumble on Jamrock.
SportsMax has procured promotional rights for the title-fight card and was able to entice J. Wray & Nephew, which has been investing heavily in boxing in Jamaica recently, to be the title sponsor. Other sponsors are The Gleaner Company, Wyndham hotel and Advantage General Insurance, and the card has the blessing of the WBA and the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control.
Prescott, the No. 5 WBA contender for the vacant title, who was first up on the podium, said that he liked Jamaica very much, and then proceeded to tell Walters that he was sorry, but he would be beating him and taking the title back to Colombia.
The fast-talking Walters, in his turn at the microphone, told those present in The Wyndham hotel ballroom that he was already in good condition, and has been training hard for the fight. He then responded to Prescott's boast with one of this own. His original plan, he said, was to just beat Prescott, but since the Colombian had come into his backyard and threatened to beat him, he would have to discipline him.
"The plan now," he said, was to give Prescott "a bad beating and send him home".
"I plan to make my fans happy, and Prescott will not be allowed to stand in my way," he retorted confidently to loud applause.
Oliver McIntosh, president and CEO of SportsMax, said that the venture was a bold one and would be costing in the region of $50 million to promote.
"That is a lot of money, but this is going to be a great event and will be worth every dollar spent," he projected. The fights will be broadcast worldwide, he added.
There will be two ticket prices: general admission - $3,500, and Ringside VIP - $6,500, including food and drink. There will also be 32 VIP deluxe lounges for 10 persons each, designed with companies in mind, for $100,000 each, to which lots of attractive frills will be attached. The arena will also have four 10x8ft screens and it will be a full high-definition production.
Boxing board president Stephen Jones said that it was a long-term dream come true for him and that this would give boxing in Jamaica the great push forward that it needs. It had not been difficult to convince SportsMax of the viability of the project and he was happy that they have bought into it. The WBA, he said, had also cooperated a lot in making the fight take place in Jamaica.
J. Wray & Nephew's Gary Dixon expressed his company's pleasure at being involved with the project as title sponsors, and said that their support for boxing is a long-term one.