Cayman’s greatest fighter Charles ‘Killa’ Whittaker was given a stern warning by his opponent in the build up to their bout tomorrow.
Whittaker was emailed a short video by Jose Miguel ‘Bam Bam’ Berrio showing the Colombian in a gym. He said that he was going to knock Killa out then symbolically slit his throat before laying into a heavy bag. “You’re looking at the next WBO NABO champion,” Berrio boasted, referring to Whittaker’s belt. It resembled a gimmick from a tacky wrestling show, but did not have the chilling impact he intended.
‘When I saw it I just laughed,’ said Whittaker over the phone from his base in Hollywood, Florida. ‘I thought it was very funny. Just before the fight it’s nice to have a little humour to relieve the tension.
‘I never worry about those guys who tell me what they’re going to do to me. I’ve shown in my recent fights going back to 2004 how strong and resilient I am. Even in my last fight against Jerome Ellis I was knocked down in the first round and got up to win. In the fight before that Billy Lyell was young, strong and brave. He boasted what he was going to do to me and I got the job done in four rounds.’
Whittaker has won his last four contests impressively, edging him closer to the world’s top 10 light-middleweights and a possible world title shot to add to the numerous belts he’s already won. He fights for the fifth consecutive time in Cayman tomorrow, at the Lions Centre on a bill headlined ‘Rampage’. The match is set at 154lbs which Whittaker has managed comfortably despite being 6ft 1in.
Whittaker, 33, won the WBO NABO title against Ellis to take his record to 28-12 (17 knockouts). Berrio, 32, has not fought for three years. He has lost only once in 22 contests, so despite the inevitable ring rust his record shows he is used to winning, usually spectacularly judging by his 12 knockouts.
‘My training has gone great,’ added Whittaker. ‘I finished sparring on Friday. That went really well with lots of variety. In fact, on my first day I sparred with a 6ft 6in, 270lbs heavyweight. I’ve had all kinds of sparring and feel great.’
Having two of the best trainers in the business helps too. Norman Wilson and John David Jackson have worked with a host of world champions over the years, including Bernard ‘The Executioner’ Hopkins, ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley and Mike ‘Bodysnatcher’ McCallum. Jackson, 43, was a double world champion and has helped Whittaker spar.
The fighters weigh-in at the Brasserie restaurant tonight (Thursday) at 6pm and all Whittaker’s supporters are welcome to attend.
‘I’m in great shape and looking forward to entertaining Caymanians again with another win,’ Whittaker said. ‘Make sure you get your tickets from one of the outlets because you don’t want to hear on Saturday about the excitement you missed because you didn’t get down to the Lions Centre to see me. It will be good to come home to entertain my fans again.
‘At this stage of preparations, it’s more mental than physical. There’s no way I’m gonna lose. I will definitely beat him.’
Tickets for Rampage are available at Reflections, Funky Tangs, Devil’s Hangout, 4-Winds Esso in West Bay, Kings Sports Centre, or by calling 926-0749 or 939-8284 or 926-3030.