Josh Taylor-Ohara Davies set for July 8
There was some role reversal at a press conference on Tuesday announcing the all-British junior welterweight bout between Commonwealth champion Josh Taylor and Ohara Davies, which takes place at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 8.
Davies, from London, has won all 15 of his fights, 12 of them by knockout. He also happens to be possessor of arguably the biggest mouth in British boxing (search “Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Ohara Davies” on YouTube for evidence). In his most recent outing, the 25-year-old boxer-puncher breezed through former world title challenger Derry Mathews in three rounds.
Taylor, by contrast, is a personable and engaging character. A 2012 Olympian, in the London Games, the Scotsman was a decorated amateur who has done everything asked of him in the paid ranks. Unbeaten in nine, with eight stoppages, the hard-hitting southpaw outclassed Dave Ryan in five to capture the Commonwealth championship last October and stopped Warren Joubert in his first defense.
“I know I’ve said a lot about (Taylor) being a bum but he’s not a bum,” stated a surprisingly candid version of Davies. “If he was a bum, we wouldn’t be fighting main event on this big show.
“He’s a good fighter but that’s what I’m in the game for. I want to take the best fights because I’ve got a fighter’s heart and a fighter’s mindset. I disrespected him (in the past) because I’ve got a fighter’s mindset and I believe I can beat anyone.
“I haven’t been talking as much (since the fight was signed). I’ve been on the big stage before and I’ve spoken enough. I don’t feel like I need to do it anymore. In this fight, I’m going to go in there and do the business. There’s no bad blood and I’ve gotta do what I gotta do.”
The fight has actually been dubbed “Bad Blood” due to some heated Twitter exchanges between the pair. Lead promoter Cyclone Promotions, who represents Taylor, obviously tried to tap in on that but Davies, who is represented by Matchroom Boxing, appeared to intentionally downplay the rivalry.
That didn’t seem to go over well with Taylor or his manager, former featherweight champion Barry McGuigan, who have a fight to sell.
“I think (Davies is) far too slow. He leaves his chin in the air and he’s gonna get taken out,” said Taylor, who also aimed a few choice expletives at Davies. “He’s been calling me out for a long time but the guy has done nothing in boxing.
“It’s going to be a relatively straight-forward fight for me. I believe I’m going to outbox him and then (looking at Davies), I’m gonna take you out.”
Expect this one to catch fire long before a punch is thrown.
Tickets for the fight are available via Ticketmaster now.
Tom Gray is a U.K. correspondent/editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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