Kyrone Davis embodied winning while losing two weeks ago in Phoenix.

David Benavidez eventually overwhelmed Davis with his size, strength and volume punching, but Davis displayed such a huge heart in a fight he took on barely two weeks’ notice – and above his weight class – that he all but assured himself another opportunity in his first fight of 2022. The 27-year-old Davis lost by seventh-round technical knockout because his trainer, Stephen Edwards, threw in the towel to prevent Davis from unnecessarily absorbing more punishment during a one-sided encounter Edwards understood Davis wouldn’t win.

Nevertheless, Davis (16-3-1, 6 KOs), who lost inside the distance for the first time in seven years as a pro, reiterated in the aftermath that he’ll move back down to the middleweight limit of 160 pounds for his next bout. The Wilmington, Delaware, native competed at the super middleweight maximum of 168 pounds in each of his last three bouts because matchmakers for Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions needed replacements for opponents that either withdrew or were removed from fights.

“I moved up to take the opportunity,” Davis said. “In this game, you gotta take risks. So, they called me and they said, ‘You know, Anthony Dirrell, his opponent pulled out. We need somebody to fill in.’ I came up and said, ‘Hey look, that’s eight pounds.’ Me and my coach talked about it. I moved up. Then they called me short notice. They needed somebody [for] the main event on FOX Sports 1 to cover the card [against Martez McGregor]. They gave me 13 days’ [notice]. I went out and got a unanimous decision.

“Then they called me because somebody popped up negative – positive, whatever. I don’t know what it is because I don’t put nothing in my system. But they called me with 16 days’ [notice] to get ready for David Benavidez, supposed to be this monster. I don’t turn nobody down. I said, ‘These are great opportunities,’ so I kept coming in. I will be going back down to 160, my actual weight class. And I look to be a problem.”

Davis tested Dirrell (34-2-2, 25 KOs), a former WBC super middleweight champ, in a “FOX PBC Fight Night” main event that resulted in a 12-round split draw February 27 at Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles. He didn’t perform as impressively versus McGregor (8-6, 6 KOs), whom Davis edged to win an eight-round unanimous decision September 5 at The Armory in Minneapolis.

An ambitious Davis battled Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs) on short notice after Benavidez’s original opponent, former IBF super middleweight champ Jose Uzcategui (31-4, 26 KOs), tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug late in October. Showtime televised their scheduled 10-rounder as the main event of a doubleheader from Footprint Center.

“He never really moved up,” said Edwards, who writes a weekly mailbag for “That’s just the offers that we got. He’s a 160-pounder. The fight before the Dirrell fight was at 160. And we just got the call to fight at ’68. And we just had to take the fights because of the circumstances. Obviously, it’s prizefighting. The money was good or whatever.

“But he never said like, ‘Well, like I’m gonna be a 68-pounder. This is just the offers that he happened to be getting. So, people keep saying like he moved up in weight. We just taking the opportunities that’s getting presented to us. We were trying to fight [Sergiy] Derevyanchenko at 160, and we couldn’t get the fight. So, we just said, ‘All right, fine. You know, we gotta take whatever is offered to us.’ ”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.