Ohara Davies is undoubtedly one of Britain’s top prospects right now.
With only eight professional fights to his name, he is already ranked as the eleventh best lightweight in the country.
Since turning professional in 2014, Davies has achieved a 75% knock out ratio, with six of his eight wins coming inside the distance.
Training under the vastly experienced Tony Sims, the Hackney man is certainly mixing with top talents in the gym.
Having signed with promotional giant Matchroom Boxing, “Two Tanks” certainly has the platform to showcase his talents to a vast audience.
InstantBoxing.com’s Luke Madeira has spoken to Ohara and here is what he had to say:
Lets start with your last fight, did stopping your opponent who had never been stopped before send out a real statement?
Yes I think it was a statement because even though his record wasn’t that good he had never been stopped before. All the fights that he has lost before, he didn’t lose them by much. It was really encouraging for me that I got the stoppage because it lets me know where I’m at right now in my career.
How do you assess your professional career so far?
So far I think it’s gone great. I’m with the right team now and I’m getting quite a few good fights now. This year I’ve already fought four times and I’ll get another fight or two this year. I think I’m being stepped up right. The sparring is going well and the training is going well, so I think I can go all the way to the top.
Are you looking to stay as active as you have been in the near future?
To be honest, I don’t think so. To get all the fights in the short time I’ve had has taken a lot out of me with all of the training thats involved. Because I am having fight after fight after fight it means that I am only having a few days rest in-between training camps. Next year, I want to fight a bit less then I am now just so I can have more of a rest.
How would you describe your fighting style, and what are your best attributes as a fighter?
I would say that I’m a smart fighter. I’m a thinker in the ring. I don’t really want to get hit and I look for any openings that I can so I can take full advantage of them. For my best attributes, I think I’m an all round fighter. I try to work on everything, I don’t believe I have a strength. I believe I’m a good all round fighter and that’s how fighters should be. If you are only good at one thing that means you have a weakness in a different place and your opponents will always be able to capitalise on your weaknesses. That’s why I try to be strong in every way that I can be.
Do you think your style suits the professional game?
I reckon it suits the pro game. Even when I was fighting as an amateur people used to tell me that I had more of a pro style anyway. I only had eighteen fights as an amateur so I was quite inexperienced as an amateur. I didn’t enter any major competitions as an amateur either. All of the championships I was in were small ones, like the Harrogate Box Cup etc. I don’t think the amateur style set into me too much because I turned pro so soon.
How do you find training as a professional?
Training is a lot harder than I expected it to be. I used to sit down and think “if only boxing was my job, if only I didn’t have to do anything apart from go to the gym – life would be so good.” Now that I’m a pro, training is really hard but it’s the lifestyle that I have chosen to live and I love it. It’s hard but that’s what I’ve got to do to get where I want to be.
You’ve had experience at the O2 and you’ve also fought in Germany, have those experiences helped you to develop as a fighter?
Yes definitely. They help me to develop myself as a fighter because now I’m a lot more comfortable with my surroundings. The first time that I fought at the O2, even though it was against a journeyman I was really nervous because Eddie Hearn was there, my friends were there, the cameras were there. I used to see everything outside the ring but now when I’m fighting at the O2 I just concentrate on my opponent and what I have to do. I’m not thinking about who is sat ringside anymore. No matter how hard you train that mindset comes from experiencing it time and time again. Fighting out in Germany was great because I was in unfamiliar territory. Everything was different, the arena was different, the weather was different, not many people spoke English out there. If it happens again in the future and I have to fight in a different country, which hopefully I do, then I am going to be used to it because it happened so early in my career.
You train with a lot of world class fighters, how much does that help you in the gym?
100%. Being in the gym with them and the sparring I do with them is great. The tactics they use in sparring are great because they are things that I would never have got with sparring pros that aren’t as experiences as them. For example Ricky Burns uses tactics in sparring that I can go and use in the fights. Every time I spar with them they will give me a few pointers here and there and tell me that “You can’t do this, because if you fight an opponent that has experience, they will do this and you will become unstuck.” They let me know that certain things I do I can’t do on fight nights. The level they are at is obviously a lot higher than where I am at so it helps me to grow as a fighter.
You seem to have a rivalry with Romeo Romaeo, what happened to cause that?
I wouldn’t call it a rivalry really, I am just calling him out. He is just going round calling out Tommy Martin and Mitchell Smith and they are so far past him achievement wise at this moment that they aren’t going to fight him. I am not that far above him though as we’ve both had eight fights now. I’m just saying to him that them two are above you achievement wise but I’m not so if you want to fight, then I’ll fight you. He hasn’t responded to me and anyone who mentions me to him he blocks them on Twitter, anyone that writes about me on Facebook he blocks them on that. He is just afraid of me and I am just letting him know that I am not afraid of him and if he ever wants to fight, Ohara Davies is here.
Do you think the fight will happen?
If he grows some balls then yes. But I just think that the fight won’t happen because he’s afraid. He’s afraid to take a loss especially so early in his career. Even if he is offered a title fight he doesn’t want to take a loss. He knows if he fights me he will lose. I’m not trying to boast or anything but I am clearly a few levels above him.
Whose the best fighter you’ve faced so far in your career?
I would say my last opponent, Dame Seck. He came to fight and even when I was attacking, he was throwing shots back at me. Most of my other opponents were more defensive but he came to fight me. He gave it a go and I caught him with a few hard shots which I thought would end the fight but he kept trying to get up. He fought his heart out, he didn’t want to get stopped. He’s been my best opponent so far.
What’s the highlight of your career up to this moment?
I don’t know, I think it’s for you to decide really. I think my last fight because it was my biggest achievement that I have faced so far. Every time I step up opponent and get the win, I call that the highlight of my career.
What’s the dream for you as a professional boxer?
My dream is to become a world champion. Not only to become a world champion but I want to be known as a boxing great, like a Floyd or an Ali, I want to be like them. I want to one day hopefully be inducted into the Hall of Fame. They are my dreams and I’m dreaming as high as I can. If I stay focused, I believe I can make it there one day.
Where do you see yourself in a years time?
I see myself getting a title before the end of the year and if I had it my way I would still have my title and be going onto bigger and better things. I would like to be in the world rankings by this time next year.
Ohara Davies is certainly going about his business in the right way and if he carries on the way he is, I believe Britain may have a new star on its hands.
By Luke Madeira, follow Luke on Twitter @lukemadeira15