By Shaun Brown
ROBBIE Davies Jr (16-1, 12 KOs) is tipping Jack Catterall to beat Ohara Davies tonight in their too close to call 140lb British showdown in Leicester.
Davies Jr, 29, faces Glenn Foot next weekend for the Sunderland man’s Commonwealth Super Lightweight title as well as the vacant British strap, believes Catterall is the better all-round fighter.
Ohara Davies was rightfully criticised for the social media drivel he aimed at his namesake during their lengthy Twitter spat last year which saw Ohara make derogatory comments against Robbie’s father (Robbie Sr), an ex-fighter himself, who was ill at the time and has since passed away. The Londoner later apologised for his stupidity.
“I’m not being bias because I don’t like Ohara. I just honestly believe Jack Catterall is better,” the Liverpudlian told Boxing Scene yesterday.
“I think Ohara has got that one punch knockout power, but he’s got no inside work. He just has a good jab and when he jabs it’s all to tee up that right hand. Everyone knows he’s got that right hand and if he stays clear of that big right hand I think everything else Jack’s got will take over and Jack will come out as the winner.”
A Robbie D v Ohara D fight looked inevitable at one stage last year, but a lot has happened in the last 12 months. The latter has joined forces with Frank Warren while the former has earned himself a three-fight deal with Matchroom. The Scouser has moved on from it all and bears no grudges.
“I always said I’m not one of them to hold grudges and things like that, but I always felt his (Ohara) apology was put into his mouth, people told him. If he’d have meant it, he wouldn’t have had to post it (on Twitter). He’d have private messaged me and said ‘Listen I didn’t mean what I said…’ or something along those lines because I know that’s what I’d have done. I don’t hold grudges, I just don’t care about him in any way. I don’t even give him a second thought. If the fight ever come round, I’d be up for it and more than happy to take it but if it didn’t and I don’t hear nothing of him I couldn’t care.”
While Davies Jr has domestic matters to contend with at 140lbs, business at world level begins to get serious from tomorrow when season two of the World Boxing Super Series gets underway in Japan. Headline act and number two seed Naoya Inoue will look to stamp his authority in the bantamweight competition against Juan Carlos Payano in the first quarter final while on the same card Kiryl Relikh takes on Eduard Troyanovsky in the first match-up in the super lightweights.
“I think Josh Taylor will win it,” predicted Davies Jr. Taylor, the number two seed, enters the format next month against Ryan Martin in Glasgow.
“I think Regis Prograis [the number one seed] is overrated. I know people say he’s a banger but everyone I’ve seen him fight he doesn’t put his hands up once. He’s small for the weight that’s why he’s always going on about how easy he makes the weight, I would as well if I was 5 foot 8! The world level opponents he’s fought were like breadsticks and 35-year-olds. I think the hardest fight for Josh Taylor is going to be Kiryl Reilikh or Trovanovsky. Trovanovsky is a great fighter but he’s a bit chinny now because he’s 38. Reilkh, in his rematch (against Rances Barthelemy) threw 1500 punches in a 12-round fight. That’s unbelievable. I know they weren’t all bombs, but he can naturally hit hard anyway. Someone coming at you throwing that volume is going to be hard to deal even if you’re a highly skilled fighter or you’re a scrapper yourself.”
Davies Jr’s compatriot Terry Flanagan travels to New Orleans this month to face Prograis and believes he can give the unbeaten star problems despite losing his chance to become a two-weight world champion against Maurice Hooker back in June.
“I wouldn’t write Terry off against Prograis. Prograis can obviously bang and Terry’s small for the weight as well. He’s got good footwork but it’s all dependant on how he approaches the fight as well.
“I actually thought if Flanagan didn’t get all those cuts against Hooker, and was sliced up early, he would have beat Hooker because I don’t think he’s anything special. I’ve seen him get beat twice and they gave it a draw. He lost to (Darleys) Perez and lost to another American kid and they gave it as draws. I just think if Terry had his full head on his shoulders and weren’t all cut to pieces with blood over him he would have won.”
Boxing Scene has an extended interview with Robbie Davies Jr next week.