By Ben Jacobs
Dyah Davis is in confident mood after it was recently announced that he will be travelling to England to challenge James DeGale for the WBC silver super-middleweight title.
The clash is scheduled to take place on November 16 at the Glow Arena in Bluewater, Kent, screened live on terrestrial television in the UK on Channel 5.
Speaking to BoxingScene from Houston, Texas, Davis spoke of his excitement and belief that he will return to the United States with the victory.
“For the last couple of months or so I was going to the gym with sort of a cloud over my head, wondering what was happening. I’m fortunate for the opportunity; I’m really looking forward to it. I want to make the best of it. We’re training hard and making sure we go out there to get the job done,” he said.
“It was an easy decision to take this fight. You always wonder if you’re making the right decision going overseas, to somebody else’s backyard. But I think the way the cards are dealt with in my favor the best option was to take the fight. This guy is highly ranked in all four sanctioning bodies, plus he holds the WBC silver belt. I feel he hasn’t been tested, he’s fought decent opposition. I’ve been in there tougher than he has. For an Olympian, it’s crazy that these guys aren’t tested earlier on based on their experience. They’ve been around and seen many styles from across the world.”
Davis has quality wins over previously unbeaten Marcus Johnson and Alfonso López. He also drew with Francisco Sierra in a fight which most observers felt he won. The Florida-resident has sparred with a host of world-class fighters during his career including Sergio Martínez, Lucian Bute, Chad Dawson, Adonis Stevenson, Sergey Kovalev, Beibut Shumenov, and others. DeGale is recognized as a stylish, skilful southpaw, but Davis has thus far not seen a great deal of the Londoner.
“I’ve seen some highlights of DeGale but I haven’t seen too much footage. Actually, I don’t like to look at too much footage of my opponents. You should be able to figure out what you have in front of you in the ring.”
‘Chunky’ has been accused in recent bouts of fighting off the ropes too often, something that Davis is aware of.
“I’ll pick my shots accordingly; if he puts himself in a position where I can capitalize I’ll definitely look to do that. But on the ropes doesn’t favor anyone, your back is against the ropes, any fighter should be in the centre of the ring.”
In June 2012, Davis fought tough Sakio Bika for the NABF super-middleweight title. Bika managed to stop Dyah in the final round of the scheduled 10 in a fight in which the New York born man didn’t seem himself.
“I had an injury that I didn’t disclose, members of my team knew about it, but the fight was an opportunity. In all honesty I probably should have pulled out of the fight, I had an injury in sparring, a really bad case of tendinitis that didn’t heal,” explained Davis.
“In the dressing room I had my trainer throwing combinations at me, wildly, like Bika. I had my hand up to catch certain shots and right before I came out I re-aggravated it. My confidence was pretty much gone. I was like, what am I gonna do? At that point, what do you do? I put forth my best effort but it didn’t work out in my favor. Bika won, he was the better man that night and he went on to be champion. Once I get past this fight I’d like another shot against Bika.”
Davis therefore sees the DeGale encounter as a great chance to move back into world title contention.
“Anytime a guy is ranked in the top 5, you can be called for a title fight. It’s definitely the opportunity of a lifetime.
“It’ll be a highly skilled contest, a chess match. Based on whoever comes out with the knockout or decision they will be labelled the Chessmaster.” Tags: James DeGale , Dyah Davis , DeGale-Davis , DeGale vs. Davis