Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Western Bureau:Derrick Kellier, minister of labour and member of parliament for South St James, has assured World Boxing Association (WBA) Featherweight champion Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters that work on the community centre in Roehampton, St James, will be concluded by April.
The community centre in Roehampton is poised to become the new home for the Job Walters Boxing Gym, which will be a major step up from the makeshift gym under a streetlight where Nicholas was nurtured by his father, Job Walters, who is a former boxer.
"I will be asking the Sports Development Foundation to put in some work at the community centre so we can move the gym from under the streetlight and have it housed at the community centre," said Kellier.
The elder Walters, who has seen his home communities, the small farming districts of Roehampton and Lawson, getting much attention since Nicholas stopped Colombian Daulis Prescott in the seventh round to claim the WBA Featherweight belt last December, is anxiously awaiting the refurbished community centre.
"The centre is in really bad shape at the moment," said the elder Walters. "It lacks proper roofing, but according to Mr Kellier, when the work is completed, I suspect it will be in fine shape as we build on the success of Nicholas."
That makeshift gym, which Walters established in 1998 in Lawson, won four consecutive National Champion Gym titles between 2008 and 2011 and has produced several national and Caribbean champions. They include Rudolph Hedge (bantamweight), Kimani Campbell (light heavyweight), Kayon Phillips (lightweight), Oshane Reid (middleweight), Romaine Richards (light heavyweight) and, now Nicholas Walters, the WBA Featherweight champion of the world.
"This gym is historic," said the senior Walters. "What we have done here is monumental, and as we hope and wait for it to move indoors at the community centre. I am sure the next chapter will be written there."