first_imgNicholas ‘The Axeman’ Walters, the Jamaican boxing star, is learning the hard way that although he can knock out opponents on a regular basis, (he has done so 21 times in 27 fights), it is much more difficult to win a negotiating battle with 84-year-old, Bob Arum.Arum is the head of Top Rank, one of the most successful boxing promoting companies in the world.For the past year, a fight between Walters, who until recently held the World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight super title and Vasyl Lomachenko, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion, has been one of the talking points in boxing circles.The plot one heard from time to time was for Walters and Lomachenko to meet different boxers on the same fight card, and presuming that both fighters won, they would then move into a mega clash with each other.Things took an unlikely turn, however, when Walters lost his title on the scales at the Madison Square Garden weigh-in on June 12, 2015, for a fight scheduled for the next day against Miguel Marriaga.He won that fight convincingly, but the all-important title was no longer his, and this weakened his bargaining power in the negotiations.December 19 drawOn December 19 last year in his next fight, this time as a super featherweight (130 pounds) against Jason Sosa, he ended up with a draw decision. The consensus was that he did win that fight, but the records speak loudly, and his bargaining power again dropped a notch.Promoter Arum decided to fast-forward the proposed Walters versus Lomachenko fight and negotiations started. There was, however, a difference with those negotiations. Instead of being carried out by his long-time manager, Jacques Deschamps, Walters himself took over.There has been some unease in his camp, because Walters was of the view that his purse for the Nonito Donaire title fight was not enough.Deschamps told The Gleaner that it was in fact lower than he would normally have gone for, but he took the strategic decision to accept what was offered, confident that Walters would win the title and boost his future bargaining and earning power.The mission was accomplished when Walters stopped Donaire in six rounds and became a super champion, but Walters was still unhappy and decided that he wanted to do his own negotiations.Information is that Walters did not do a good job with those subsequent negotiations. When the offer to fight Lomachenko came about, however, Walters decided to go for broke.Arum has stated publicly that the Walters demand to fight Lomachenko is for US$1million, a price he is not willing to pay. The Gleaner understands that Arum offered him US$550,000 instead, but Walters has refused that offer. They have been unable to come to any agreement, and last word is that Arum has moved on and is negotiating with WBO Super featherweight champion Roman Martinez to fight Lomachenko instead on June 11.The Gleaner has been unable to contact Walters for a comment as his telephone goes to voice mail and he has not responded to requests for a return call.His father, Job, told The Gleaner yesterday that he knows of the negotiations and he, too, believes that Walters is worth more than is being offered by Arum.He is, however, hopeful that regardless of what happens now, the fight will eventually take place.last_img read more

first_imgUSC senior Lodrick Stewart led the student section at Galen Center in displaying the university’s trademark victory sign as the school’s fight song played. Teammates surrounded Stewart, some going into the aisles, as the capacity crowd paid tribute to one of the Trojans’ best seasons since the Pacific-10 Conference expanded to 10teams in 1979. The players paid tribute back for the electric atmosphere that built all season and reached a crescendo Saturday. Then the players lifted senior walk-on Chris Penrose – who hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds – onto their shoulders and carried him off the court. USC’s 84-66 victory over California in its final home game displayed everything that has changed this year within the program – the attitude, the attendance and the atmosphere. “We said from day one, we’re not going to beg our people to come out,” said coach Tim Floyd after his team played in front of a sellout Galen Center-record crowd of 10,027. “You have to earn those things.” USC has done that with a team that has defied all expectations. The Trojans (21-8, 11-5) are guaranteed at least fourth place in the Pac-10, will take second if they win both games in Washington this week and can wrap up third with a win or Stanford loss in the final two games. This for a team that entered the season picked to finish sixth in the conference and starting freshmen at point guard and power forward. “We’re playing for seeding now,” Stewart said. “There’s not a doubt we’re going to the (NCAA) Tournament. I think we’re going now, and the coaches feel the same way.” center_img USC’s 15-3 record at Galen Center is its best home mark since going 16-3 in 1961. Stewart drained four 3-pointers to give him 220 for his career, breaking the all-time USC mark of 218 held by Brandon Granville (1999-02). His record-breaking shot came at an opportune time, as Cal (14-14, 6-10) had drawn within five points with a little over 13 minutes remaining. “It’s great to get the record on a day like this,” said Stewart, who left the game to large ovation with 55.8 seconds remaining. “It was so sad knowing it’s my last time playing here.” Stewart finished with 13points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Taj Gibson led the Trojans with 18 points. But the shot that drew the biggest crowd outburst of the season came from Penrose, the little-used walk-on who had scored three points entering the game. He came in with 2:23remaining, after the crowd had been chanting his name. Each time he touched the ball, fans yelled for him to shoot. His 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down in the final minute didn’t draw iron. But he got one more chance at his “Rudy” moment and swished a shot from the right corner with 5.3 seconds to go. “I turned around and looked at the student section and couldn’t really hear anything because the place was so loud,” said Penrose, who brought his career total to 16 points. “My heart was going a mile a minute, and I was just so happy and excited. It’s kind of a storybook ending to a little walk-on’s career.” matthew.kredell@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more