Keyshawn Davis: “I think I can be better than Floyd Mayweather.”
By Chandler Waller
Dubai has become a luxurious destination in recent years, further proven by many UK citizens who jetted off to the United Arab Emirates during the coronavirus pandemic, for a taste of normality.
It’s become a holiday destination, but you’ll often notice it’s name linked to wealth and glamour. A fitting place you might think for one of boxing’s most lucrative prospects’ second professional fight.
Keyshawn Davis was tipped for Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020, but as the Coronavirus pandemic halted that ambition, another grew. The former amateur standout now sits at 2-0 (2 KOs) as a pro, but he’s already learning the dark side of the sport, after his recent experience has shown that he’s a wanted man. Alleged pre-fight shenanigans were eye-opening for Davis:
“With that experience, for each and every fight moving forward, it’s going to have me very aware. It’s scary that I was going into my second fight, and people are already trying to do things like that to win a fight against me.
“Just going through that, it showed me a lot about myself, how mature I am in situations like that. Just knowing how to stay focused for the most part going into the ring, and still doing what I had to do.”
Davis didn’t know about any of the drama until after the fight, with his team certain that it would make him more aggressive in the ring. Thankfully, it was all resolved and Davis marked his second professional outing with another win inside the distance. Speaking to FightPost, he reflected on his performance:
“Since before the fight, I kinda knew how I was going to beat him up. I just wanted to stay in his face, keep him uncomfortable, use a little bit of my amateur skill with a fast pace. Just stay on that fast pace and keep progressing for each and every round. Of course stay with the defence behind it, I feel like I executed it better than I expected.”
“It took me a few rounds to get adjusted with the fighter rather than figure him out. Once I felt his power, I kinda knew after that first round what he was trying to do. I feel like he was just waiting for me to run into one of his big shots, to try and knock me out or hurt me. Once I figured that out, I knew what I had to do to move forward and win the fight.”
Richman Ashelley was an unknown quantity to most before his fight with Keyshawn Davis, but a 10-1 record would’ve raised some eyebrows on fight week. However, for Davis he is professional through and through, and his class inside the ring is backed up by his studies outside of the squared circle.
“I watch a lot of tapes, every fight of his that was on YouTube I watched, I’m a student of the game. I’m not going to go in the ring on what my coach says because he’s watched the tape – I’ll watch the tape myself. I’m self-coached, I will analyse things, me and my coach will come together about what we’ve seen, and how to move forward and stuff like that. Most of the time we see the same things, it’s great for me and my coach being one of the same.”
It’s no surprise really, when you see the former amateur standout in action as a professional, who already has a great shot selection, distance control and is extremely composed. There is the odd occurrence when a sterling amateur doesn’t transition well to the pros, but for Davis he admits that transition has been easy.
“It’s easier than what I thought, honestly. I remember when I said in my pro debut interviews that I finally get to fight on my pace and not at an amateur pace. I think that’s why it’s easy for me, we all know amateur pace is very fast and quick, but I had a pro style in the amateurs so my style was slowed down. Now, it’s like I really do get to fight my style and my pace and it’s honestly easy man, I’m not going to lie.
“I promise you each and every fight, from me the performances are going to get better and better, but the comfortability is going to get better inside that ring. I feel like my next fight, I’m going to show a lot more defence, I don’t even think I’ll get hit – even being the aggressor. I think moving forward my defence, my strength and my IQ is going to get better with that.”
A former Olympic gold hopeful, there was always going to be high expectations of Keyshawn Davis. Many expected him to excel at Tokyo 2020, but destiny had something else in store for him. These presumptions can often be too much on one’s shoulders, but that isn’t the case for the 2-0 prospect.
“I was the one who was supposed to go to the Olympics, every body believed in me to win a gold medal. It was high expectations then and I was carrying that for three years on the Olympic team. These high expectations are really nothing to me because God already put me through real battles and storms and now that I’m pro, fighting lesser opponents than I was in the International amateurs, it’s really nothing to me and I feel like I’m showing it.”
Davis has already fought on the undercard of pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez and fought 7,112 miles away from his hometown. The red-hot prospect has made a flying start to his professional career, and he is expected to continue that form when he shares a bill with brother Kelvin Davis (1-0, 1KO) later this year.
“I feel like by the end of this year I should be co-main event, fans want to come and see me, a real fan base – not only to see me but to also see my brother alongside me, Kelvin Davis. The level I’m at or the expectations I have right now, y’all should be expecting from him by the end of this year. He’s fighting alongside me in my next fight and I can’t believe it’s happening right now. My brother is fighting alongside me and the rest of this year you should expect me and my two brothers – DB3 to keep putting on great performances for all the supporters and just for all of us to keep growing.”
The three brothers are a close-knit family bound by their passion for the sport of boxing, accessorised by the DB3 necklaces that Keyshawn wears around his neck during our chat. It’s inevitable that we’ll see the DB3 out in full force on a boxing card in the future.
“That’s definitely the goal for us, we’ve been talking about that since we were kids. Now that it’s about to be me and one of my brothers on a card, we’re starting to make it happen. Once my little brother turns pro, it’s going to be undeniable by the time I really make my stamp and my brother alongside me. It’s going to be second nature for them to put us all on one card so I just can’t wait till that happens.”
Amid dreams of a Davis triple-header bill, the 22-year-old has also set the bar high for himself. He hopes to one day surpass the achievements of one of the greatest fighters of the last century, and carve out his own legend. When asked by Fightpost how far he believes he can he go, Davis replied:
“I think I can be better than Floyd Mayweather, I will keep saying it because I truly believe that. I feel like Floyd Mayweather inside the ring was just the best – statistically, defensively and in boxing that takes you a long way, and it sells. It sells for a fighter to just be so great defensively and how he done it was just great.
“I feel like I can take it further than Floyd Mayweather, the game plan and team that I have behind me – we’re working towards that, and I really feel like we can accomplish that. I feel like I can do more because the way I’m starting out on big cards, I’m on television every single time I fight, travelling worldwide and not only that, there’s three of us, it’s not just me. That’s going to help me take it beyond Floyd.”
The young American certainly has a high ceiling, but whether he can emulate the greatness that Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather achieved, only time will tell. For now, he keeps a close eye on the matchups in and around his weight class. Saturday’s event in Dubai culminated with Jamel Herring stopping Carl Frampton in their highly anticipated World title fight. When asked for his reaction to the fight, Davis said:
“That was Jamel Herring’s best fight of his career. Not only because that was his biggest fight, but because of how he looked. He was sharp, focused and did everything that he had to do. He just showed so much poise and so much comfortability, I think that was Jamel Herring’s best fight and I was so happy for Jamel. I wish there was a crowd in the arena because that fight was crowd-worthy, it would’ve been spectacular, I was just happy I got to experience it.”
After his successful defence, the WBO World champion called out newly crowned WBC king Oscar Valdez to face him in a unification clash. Davis, keen to see his compatriot thrive gave his two pence on the potential fight:
“Hell yeah, I’d love to see that fight. I think that’ll be a better fight that Carl Frampton, but I still see Jamel Herring outboxing Oscar Valdez. We all know Oscar Valdez can box and that was a great performance that he had last fight. That’s just going to be a fight where there needs to be fans there, there can’t be no fans there. Most likely Mexico, but that is just a super-fight.”
In the above weight category, Devin Haney takes on arguably his toughest test to date against former World champion Jorge Linares on May 29. Davis gave his official prediction on the 135lbs World title fight to wrap things up:
“I feel like that is going to be a good fight in Devin Haney’s side. I think he’s going to show all of his skills this time, and he’s going to actually have to show some power too. Linares is the type of fighter that you have to gain respect from, he’s not just going there to lay down.
“He dropped Lomachenko, yes Lomachenko was a smaller fighter, but it’s not easy to do – even Teofimo couldn’t do that. Jorge Linares is going to bring the best out of Devin Haney, I think Devin Haney is going to win the fight, but it’s not going to be an easy fight. I definitely see Linares winning some rounds, and Devin Haney having to bite down and pull out some rounds.”