Former featherweight titlist Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters is anxious to get back in the ring.
He last boxed in June, when, despite being stripped of his world title for failing to make weight, he easily outpointed amateur nemesis Miguel Marriaga.
Now Walters is headed to junior lightweight and getting ready to fight Jason Sosa in a 10-rounder on Dec. 19 in the co-feature of a “Boxing After Dark” card (HBO, 10:15 p.m. ET/PT) at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
Walters (26-0, 21 KOs), 29, of Jamaica, is already in training camp for the fight.
"I am training hard in Panama,” said Walters, who has scored 11 knockouts in his past 13 victories, including against Nonito Donaire 11 months ago. “I know how important this fight is and I will be in optimum physical condition. My team has been studying video of my opponent Sosa. I cannot wait to leave Panama, get into Verona, New York, and get inside the ring. Boxing is my passion."
Sosa (18-1-3, 14 KOs), 27, of Camden, New Jersey, hasn’t lost since a first-round knockout in his fifth pro fight in 2010 and has scored 13 knockouts in a row, albeit against unproven opposition.
“[Walters] is a very strong fighter and the toughest opponent that I have faced,” Sosa said. “But I am up for the challenge. I have a great team and they are getting me in the best shape of my life and making sure that I am mentally and physically ready to come away with the win. I am sure we are both ready for war and fans are not going to want to miss this."
It does look like a good battle on paper given that Walters and Sosa are both viewed as powerful punchers.
"I believe this will be the final fight of the year candidate for 2015," said Carl Moretti, vice president of Top Rank, which promotes Walters. “The making of this fight is the product of the right decision made at the right time by all the right people."
In the main event, interim heavyweight titleholder Luis Ortiz (23-0, 20 KOs), a bull-strong Cuban defector, will take on Philadelphia contender Bryant Jennings (19-1, 10 KOs), who is coming off a lopsided decision loss to world champion Wladimir Klitschko in April but performed much better than many expected.