'Axeman' wants more support

Nicholas “Axeman” Walters was voted Jamaica’s 2014 Sportsman of the Year this week and when he received the award, the world champion boxer felt compelled to ask local businesses to sponsor him.

The WBA featherweight champion wants backing from corporate Jamaica, and he also wants support for a new gym to help promote the sport in his homeland. He became the first boxer in 24 years to win the award, the last being Michael “The Body Snatcher” McCallum.

“For my next fight, I would love to know that I am going out there, not only with brand Jamaica, but with sponsors, to say the country is pushing me,” said Walters.

He has every reason to expect support, having won all 25 bouts, 21 by knockout. Walters, 29, grew up in Roehampton, St. James, and was trained by his father Job, a former boxer.

Walters said he is looking forward to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s promise of a gym to be set up in Roehampton.

Most of his early fights were in Panama, but now Walters wants to be based in Jamaica and fight in America. His last bout was a sixth-round stoppage of Nonito Donaire in Las Vegas in October.

Swimmer Alia Atkinson was named Jamaica’s Sportswoman of the Year. Atkinson, 26, became the first black woman to win a gold medal at a swimming world championship, in the process equaling the world record in the 100 meters breaststroke at the 2014 Short Course World Championships in Doha last month.

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