Nicholas ‘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.
A 2017 Presidential hopeful, Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe, has said that Liberia is not independent when the citizens are still sleeping with hunger and experiencing poverty.Dr. Whapoe was speaking last Sunday when Friends of Dr. Whapoe of District #14 in Montserrado County welcomed him to address some of their challenges, including building of bridges.Dr. Whapoe promised the people of Doe Community that he would build two bridges to end the perennial flooding which the community experiences every rainy season.He said “Our mission is to declare war on poverty using agriculture, when elected. We will be using machines and not hoes to make farms. My dream is to see a Liberia that can feed itself and support other countries in the region.”Dr. Whapoe said his plan for Liberia is to use farming not just for eating purposes but also for business that would make many of the people in Liberia rich and independent to handle their domestic problems.“Farmers can also be decision makers and our plan is to make Liberian farmers decision makers to make good laws that will promote food sufficiency for the people. It is time for us to come to together and ensure that we achieve this goal,” Dr. Whapoe said. He stressed that there is no great nation in the world that has declared itself independent, when it cannot handle the citizens’ food problem.“Independence is not given to cows but to people who demand it. Freedom is living the kind of life you want to live without obstruction. If you cannot afford to send your children to school, you are not free,” he said. Dr. Whapoe said it is time to change Liberian politics but said he would not promise the people of Liberia that he would build skyscrapers, mansions or electrify the country but that he will eradicate the long existence of the disease, poverty. He said, “Many believe that Liberia’s problems are lack of roads, health care, infrastructure, development or electricity, but Liberia’s first problem is poverty.”Dr. Whapoe, the people of Doe Community, including pem pem riders, women’s groups, elders, and leaders inspected damaged bridges and drainages.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)