Travis Walker – The
By Sean A. Malone
This Friday night at the Raley Field in West Sacramento, California undefeated heavyweight prospect Travis Walker will engage in a 10 round duel with fellow American prospect T.J. Wilson.
The bout will be the televised main event of the Duva Boxing/Goosen Tutor promoted card aired on Showtime’s ShoBox telecast.
For Walker this bout represents a chance to erase the pithy taste left in the mouth of the boxing public after his disputed split-decision win over former amateur standout George Garcia this past April. The fight, which also aired on ShoBox, was one that many observers felt Walker would win with relative ease given his much heralded power and impressive majority decision over former amateur rival Jason Estrada.
Opinions were further solidified when upon entering the ring it was noted that Garcia’s physique was more in tune with that of a competitive eater that that of a noted prize fighter.
However, someone forgot to inform Garcia that he was to be railroaded by the fighter known as “Freight Train”.
Utilizing surprisingly effective footwork as well as some relatively quick hands Garcia was beginning to befuddle Walker as well as earning the admiration from the neutral crowd. In the end Walker’s harder shots were the difference in the fight allowing him to escape with a victory to keep his unblemished record intact.
All this brings us to Friday night’s battle between Walker and the unheralded T.J. Wilson. To the vast majority of fight aficionados Wilson is an unknown commodity. Walker himself even expressed his unfamiliarity with the Atlanta based fighter.
“I don’t know much about him. I saw a tape of him, he doesn’t impress me.”
It is that quiet confidence that propels the 28 year old Walker to make a claim as the premier American heavyweight prospect. But in an era where the next great American heavyweight is more than likely playing defensive end in the NFL, does Walker feel any added pressure when he fights?
“It doesn’t put any pressure on me, but it is something I am going to change.” Walker assured me in a recent phone interview.
Pressure is just what the 6’ 4” Tallahassee, FL, resident is trying to inflict upon the heavyweight division. An impressive win on Friday night’s card and Walker knows his name will be mentioned among other “can’t miss” prospects. Loose and he is back to square one.
Walker’s manager Steve Munisteri is confident that his fighter has the tools to make some noise in boxing’s marquee division.
“Walker is a huge puncher with a good chin and great heart; still learning but improving.”
Sean’s Speedy Salvos
- Walker was the 2003 National Golden Gloves super heavyweight champion and posted an amateur record of 24-8. Three of those losses were to Jason Estrada.
- Trained by Dwight Pratchett, Walker trains in Houston, TX
- Walker played football as both defensive end and offensive guard at Rickards High School in Tallahassee.
- When not training Walker claims to be a homebody opting to spend as much time with his family as possible.
- Currently Walker’s speakers will resonate with the sounds of Ft. Meyers, FL rapper Plies who Walker claims to be a big fan of.
- I asked Walker what he would be doing if not for boxing, after pondering for a moment he cryptically replied:
“I really don’t know man.”
Questions or comments? Email Sean Malone