Kyrone Davis has known for quite some time that he can compete with championship-caliber boxers.
It wasn’t until February 27, however, that Davis suspects he alerted unaware boxing fans of his capabilities. That was the night Davis fought former WBC super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell to a 12-round split draw in a fight many fans and media members think Davis deserved to win.
Judge Lou Moret scored Davis a 115-113 winner over Dirrell, who won 115-113 on judge Pat Russell’s card. Judge Zachary Young scored their “FOX PBC Fight Night” main event a draw, 114-114, at Shrine Auditorium & Exposition Center in Los Angeles.
Though Davis didn’t defeat Dirrell (34-2-2, 25 KOs), Davis believes his performance that night helped him land his assignment Saturday night – a shot at another former WBC 168-pound champ, David Benavidez (24-0, 21 KOs). Davis (16-2-1, 6 KOs), of Wilmington, Delaware, replaced former IBF super middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui (31-4, 26 KOs) on two weeks’ notice because Uzcategui failed a test for performance-enhancing drugs.
“I think it just showed you guys I could fight at this world-class level,” Davis stated of his performance against Dirrell during a press conference Thursday in Phoenix. “And what it does for me is it just puts me in situations where I can take fights like this. You know, I’m lookin’ to put on a show. I think it’s gonna be a whole lotta fun. I look forward to fighting on David Benavidez Day. You know, we gonna have a good time.”
Saturday has been declared “David Benavidez Day” in Phoenix, Benavidez’s hometown.
Benavidez, 24, is listed by Caesars Sportsbook as a 30-1 favorite versus Davis, a 27-year-old contender who mostly has competed as a middleweight. Their 12-round super middleweight match will headline a “Showtime Championship Boxing” doubleheader from Footprint Center in Phoenix.
“All good things must come to an end,” Davis said of Benavidez’s four-fight knockout streak. ‘You know, I think the run is cool. But you gotta look at it in a certain kinda way. You can’t look at it like, ‘Oh, you on a streak.’ It depends on who you fightin’, who you gettin’ in there with. My name is ‘Shut It Down,’ not ‘Lay Down,’ so it is what it is. He can say what he wanna say. No disrespect. He supposed to wanna feel that way, put on, you know, a good time for the fans and all that. But I’m lookin’ to do what I have to do, and that’s win.”
Showtime’s telecast will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with a 10-round middleweight match between Benavidez’s older brother, Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-1, 18 KOs), and Argentina’s Emanuel Torres (17-3, 5 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.