Leroy Brown, Gleaner Writer
The moment of truth has arrived for Jamaica's next world boxing title hope, Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters.
Tonight, between 11:30 and midnight, he will face the challenge of Daulis Prescott of Colombia, whose mission will be to prevent him from becoming the World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight champion when they clash over 12 rounds at the National Indoor Sports Centre, in the 'Wray & Nephew Rumble on Jamrock'. Fight time is 7:15 and the main bout is scheduled for 11:30 p.m.
There will be four other fights on the card. In another world title fight, the very attractive Alys Sanchez from Venezuela, with a record of 11 wins and a draw, will defend her WBA title against Maria Elena Villalobos from Mexico, over 10 rounds. Kina Malpartida will defend her WBA super featherweight title against Marilyn Hernandez from the Dominican Republic; Mauricio Reynoso and Jaime Barboza will exchange punches in a WBA super middleweight fight for the Fedelatin title; and Jamaican's Rikardo Smith and Sakima Mullings will try to settle a score, in an eight-round contest for bragging rights.
At the weigh-in at the Wyndham hotel in New Kingston yesterday, both main bout contestants were very confident.
Walters, who is the No. 1 contender, was his usual talkative self and promised to "drop the axe" on Prescott. "I am going in there to win and it could be in one round or it could go the distance, it does not matter to me. I am taking it one round at a time and all I want is that at the end of the fight, the referee holds up my hand and says, the winner, and new WBA featherweight champion, Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters."
Walters confided to The Gleaner that he has never trained so hard for a fight.
"This is the opportunity I have dreamt of for many, many years and I am not going to make it pass," he said.
History is not on his side, as three Jamaicans - Bunny Grant, Percy Hayles and Richard 'Shrimpy' Clarke - have tried and failed to win a world title at home. His take on this, however, is that he intends writing his own history by being the first Jamaican boxer to do so, and he is well prepared.
Prescott, who is ranked No. 5 in his weight class, and his manager Sergio Chams were quietly confident.
"This is what Darius has been fighting for all these years and we are going in there to win," he volunteered. "Darius has had a good training camp and is ready. We are going to win," he said.
Both fighters have excellent records. Walters is 21-0 with 17 knockouts and Prescott has won 26 fights, 19 inside the distance, and has suffered only one defeat. A review of the records show that Walters has fought better-quality opponents, but one cannot discount Prescott's performances.
It should be a very competitive fight and it is expected that Walters will try to dictate early. From what little has been seen of Prescott, he has both foot and hand speed, and will undoubtedly make Walters work hard for points. The Jamaican will definitely be going in as the favourite, but if he gets careless, Prescott could surprise him.
The other fight of note
for Jamaicans is the return clash between Smith and Mullings. Smith beat
Mullings in the 2011 Contender semi-finals and Mullings has been
seeking the opportunity to get revenge. This should be a great