Lots of kids want to be just like their old man when they grow up.
Dyah Davis was not one of them.
“From the age of seven to first year of college I swore up and down I was going to be an NBA player some day,” recollects 29-year-old Davis, the son of Howard Davis Jr, who was the 1976 Olympic Games’ gold medal winner named Outstanding Boxer, and then a solid world-class professional.
“But then in college I saw Vitali Klitschko and Lennox Lewis fight on TV and I said ‘I can do that,’ so I called up my dad and said ‘pops I want to box.’ He said ‘Box what? Oranges and grapes?’ He asked me how much I weigh. I told him 225 and he said what?!? You’re going to have to start running. I thought I was a heavyweight. My father said ‘you’re only 6′ 1″, you’re no heavyweight.’ I started running and the weight started melting off. Before I knew it, I was making my debut at 175.”
And so, at age 23 and with no amateur career at all, Dyah Davis went into the family business. Six years later, he sports a record of 18-2-1 with 9 KOs and is a surprisingly skillful super middleweight contender.
Davis will face Texas-based Marcus “Too Much” Johnson(20-0, 15 KOs)in the 10-round main event on Showtime’s fantastic ShoBox: The New Generation Triple Header entitled “Rumble on the Rio” from the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas, on April 8 (broadcast starts at 11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West coast).
“I’m feeling great man. Training went well and it’s starting to wind down now. I’m in great condition and I’ve trained for ten full rounds, but if I get him in some trouble I’ll put him away. I feel like I still have some things to prove and getting a win over Marcus would be very big for me.”
Thoroughbred genes aren’t much good unless someone teaches the horse to run. That’s why Davis is trained by highly regarded former world champion John David Jackson at the Heavyweight Hit Factory Gym in Hollywood, Florida.
“We have come up with a plan to off-set whatever he’s (Johnson) doing and hopefully he can execute it and make it work,” says Jackson. “Johnson has good power. Yes, he’s fought a bunch of stiffs, but he beat them all. That means he can fight. He’s fundamentally sound; not overwhelming but does everything well. He’s not a guy we’re taking lightly. Definitely most dangerous opponent we have faced. But if everything goes according to plan and Dyah implements whatever he sees during the fight, he can definitely be victorious.”
After training all day with Jackson, Davis says he will often seek out fatherly advice. “I’m at my dad’s house now and we’re going over some fight video. My father always tells me whenever I spar to imagine myself being in the ring and under the bright lights because I haven’t had the amateur experience to get me ready for it. My dad is the man I got to for advice.”
A professional boxer on the world stage in hot pursuit of a championship belt. Turns out Dyah Davis is a lot like his old man.