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Walters Staying Or Going?

Michael Woods

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WEDNESDAY 12-2315 UPDATE: One of my sources swears up and down that Walters is heading to Haymonville, that he’s ready to transition to PBC-land. The deal is basically done, the guy tells me. But you recall yesterday someone else told that such certainty was erroneous.

Some thoughts..this is a case where a guy is a good TV fighter, but doesn’t have that rooting fanbase who’ll fill an arena to see him do his thing. That brings up the question, how do you determine a guy’s worth? Andre Ward doesn’t fill arenas, but has been a prized TV fighter for a few years.

What are Walters’ expectations, and does his criteria for self-measuring his worth jibe with the people who’d be getting him paydays and signing checks to him? I think we get clarity on the issue fairly soon…

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The Axe Man looked sharp on Saturday night on HBO, though some judges were working through fogged glasses, and deemed Nicholas Walters’ match with Jason Sosa a draw.

Balderdash…

The Jamaican did the better work, though the Jersey Boy’s stock went up as he held his ground well. As per usual, this happens at least once every two weeks in a big-platform bout, roars declaring the judges inept, or corrupted, were heard in living rooms round the world…

But that is dirty water under the bridge and now the next leg of the Walters journey is to be taken. And the grapevine is buzzing and is watching with keen eyes: will the 27-0 126-130 pound ace be doing his thing under the Top Rank banner..or another?

The “another” in this case would perhaps be the Al Haymon PBC banner. That is what I hear from some folks. I also heard that Walters is gonzo from Top Rank, that his contract is up and he’s decided to jet for greener pastures. Someone familiar with that relationship told me that is “not true.”

So we shall see how this plays out. It’s a compelling bit of inside baseball. You recall that over a long spell Julio Cesar Chavez Jr squabbled with Top Rank, then tried to wriggle out of his contract, then signed to Haymon, and now he plies his trade for PBC. That arc started playing out way before the March 2015 PBC debut.

If Walters were to jump ship, from Top Rank, where he’s been made a fixture on HBO, he’d be choosing, in theory, maybe a lump sum upside over the rock-solid infrastructural excellence that Top Rank boasts.

They have the horses, led by Bob Arum, and a crew of wisemen matchmakers and opiners and publicity purveyors which sum up to unsurpassed expertise that can only be built over time.

Then again, Haymon has that war chest..green trumps gray (matter), often…and that could, I guess, sway Walters.

Time, that great clarifier, will need to pass, to see which way the winds are blowing in the sport, and if a new precedent gets set, or the older guard stays on as firm a foundation.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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