Walters happy with landmark achievement
Leroy Brown, Gleaner Writer
Newly crowned World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight champion, Nicholas Walters, is pleased to have knocked out the "jinx" among locals fighting for a world title on home soil.
Walters scored a seventh-round TKO victory over Colombian Daulis Prescott early Sunday morning.
"I am so happy that I was able to win the title here in Jamaica and break this so-called jinx. There is no jinx about a Jamaican winning the world title here in Jamaica anymore," he said with a broad smile.
Asked how he felt about being a world champion, he went on a trip down memory lane. He recalled the early days when he fought with a brother, who is only one month younger than him and also named Nicholas by his father, Job.
"I am Nicholas O'Brien and my brother is Nicholas Job. To make things easy, we call him Roger.
"When our father started off with us at age six, we did not have gloves, so we used orange drink boxes as gloves," Walters reminisced. "Our father loved the sport, and so did we, and we used to box on the roadside because we did not have a gym to go to."
He then recalled how his father pushed him hard, but he never relented, as he loved the sport and wanted to follow in his father's footsteps.
Job was a good amateur and then a successful professional boxer.
'The Axeman' said his brother did not like boxing as much as he did, however, and eventually stopped.
"This is, therefore, a dream come true for me," he noted.
Walters said he is indebted to a lot of people, most of all his manager, Jacques Deschamps, who sent him to Panama in 2008 to be evaluated by trainer Celso Chavez. The trainer made up his mind after three weeks that Walters was talented enough to make it to the top and gave Deschamps the all clear to take him under his wings.
"Mr Deschamps is more than a manager to me, he treats me like I am his son. He really takes good care of me," Walters stated.
He also paid tribute to Carl Chang of Western Sports who gave him boxing gear, sportswear and shoes, financial assistance and good advice over the years.
Asked about his preparation for the fight, Walters said: "I really trained hard for this one. I spent some time in Haiti with Mr Deschamps when we started serious training and he made me wake up and run the hills every morning. That is one of the reasons that I am so fit. My trainer is one of the best in the world, and he really gave me some excellent ideas to work with. I am in good hands.
"I am his fourth current champion, so I have a lot to live up to, as I want to stay champion for a long time. Being called champ is a nice feeling and I want it to continue. I also want to be a role model for the young amateurs in Jamaica. I want them to emulate me and become world champions too," he pointed out.