Anthony Fowler and Ohara Davies swapped insults on Thursday in an ePress Conference for a fight that might not even happen.
Eddie Hearn, who once sacked Davies after he made comments designed to rile up people from Fowler’s home city of Liverpool, hosted the second in a series of online boxer head-to-heads, although if Fowler and Davies do ever meet in the ring, it will be some way off.
First, Davies has the super-lightweight final of the MTK Golden Contract against Tyrone McKenna to deal with, which has been postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic. Then there is the little matter that they box two weight divisions apart.
Davies said he was willing to come up 10 pounds to box Flower at 150lb, although Fowler said he was unlikely to box any lighter than 152lb.
“We live in a world where the fans dictate the fights and this is a fight the fans want to see,” Hearn said. “We could get to the stage where this fight has a lot of meat on it.”
Certainly the pair seemed to genuinely dislike each other. Fowler called Davies “a snake” and “a rat”, Davies called Fowler “a prick”, numerous times.
The pair had clashed on social media after Fowler lost to Scott Fitzgerald last year. The difference in weight division means the match makes little sense for the career of either, apart from as a moneymaking exercise. But Hearn is never shy at cashing in on a good “beef”.
Davies admitted that he wondered where his career was going after losses to Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall.
“Even I thought I was done,” he said. “I came back, I managed to win my last few fights and I’m back on the big stage.
“It should be no problem, it should be easy work. Then I am right back up there.”
Fowler has had his attentions on a rematch with Fitzgerald over the past year, but with Fitzgerald having problems outside the ring, it is a fight that seems unlikely to happen soon.
“I’m not as desperate for the fight as I once was,” Fowler said. “I know Scott has had a lot of personal problems, so if he did vacate it and I boxed someone like James Metcalf, beat Metcalf for the British title in my head I’ve had the last laugh because I am ahead of him in my career.
“My career is not about Scott Fitzgerald, but that is a big, big fight and the hatred is real.”
Fowler said he had been angered by Davies’s social media remarks after losing to Fitzgerald.
“When I lost to Fitzgerald I remember going on Twitter and seeing him make some snarly comment, he was praying for my downfall,” Fowler said. “And I thought ‘you little snake’. I didn’t say nothing at the time because I was licking my wounds, but I always remembered it and thought ‘you little rat’.”
Davies’s acrimony towards Fowler was a little less clear.
“I don’t like him, I’ve always thought Anthony Fowler is a prick,” Davies said. “I’m the kind of guy if I don’t like you, I’m not going to hold my tongue. No one likes this guy, but people are too scared to come out and say this guy’s a prick. I don’t give a toss, if I don’t like you I’m going to say up front ‘I don’t like you’.
“Anthony Fowler is a bum, he has got nothing over me but size and he has strength. He’s got no speed, he’s a bit robotic. The guy is trash, he is doing nothing but fighting against bums, the first good fight he fought against, he got his arse spanked.
“I’ve lost a few fights against people that are world class, but Anthony Fowler hasn’t beaten anyone who is average. You can’t put my name and his in the same sentence and that is why I don’t mind going up to 150lb and I will knock him out in his home town.”
Fowler said his dislike of Davies was widely shared and he mocked him for turning his back against Taylor.
“I’ve got my fair share of haters but no one likes that kid,” Fowler said. “He showed his character in that fight [with Taylor]. It got tough in there and he turned his back like a coward and as a fighter that is something I would never do. When he was boxing Taylor, I knew he would get exposed and that’s what happened, he got smashed, dropped and he gave up.
“He can talk all he wants, but he showed his character in the ring. He will always be remembered as the guy who gave up in a fight.
“I’m deadly serious about fighting him. I’d love to smash his face in. The first few rounds he is going to be difficult to nail down, but as soon as I catch him on the chin, those little skinny legs are going to give way and it would be goodnight.”
Davies said he had learnt from that, he claimed that he was “willing to die” in the ring against Fowler, hardly a sensible thing to say at any time, let alone when there is so much death around the world on a daily basis.
But will it happen? Davies said he was happy to move up from 140lb to 150lb, but Fowler said that his trainer, Shane McGuigan, had advised him that he should not box at below 152lb.
Two pounds difference is probably no reason not to make a fight. Whether Fowler-Davies is the fight a boxing-starved public is longing for is another matter.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.