Ohara Davies has refuted suggestions he has been instructed by Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to tone down his antics ahead of this summer’s showdown with Edinburgh’s Josh Taylor.
The Londoner, who has 15 wins to his name, was in Glasgow to give his take on the duo’s super-lightweight clash at Braehead Arena on Saturday, July 8 but was unusually quiet for an individual who is renowned for talking himself up. There’s no disputing the Englishman has the talent to carve out a successful career in the sport. That said, he has previously come under the spotlight for his outspoken demeanour and carefree attitude when put in front of the media.
But for those who had anticipated a little taster of what’s to come as Taylor, inset, and Davies came face-to-face for the first time at the Glasgow Marriott following months of discrediting eachother on social media, it proved a disappointing affair as Davies opted for a more reserved approach this time around.
A ‘toned-down’ Davies even prompted Cyclone Promotions manager Barry McGuigan into suggesting he was trying to “undersell the fight”.
But, in an exclusive interview with the Evening News, Davies insists he doesn’t need promoter Hearn to instruct him on how to conduct himself, he was merely showing another side to his personality.
“People that truly know me know the real me. Some days I wake up and feel like I want to be arrogant and other days I don’t. Maybe at the next press conference we have I might be all loud-mouthed but just because I feel different each day doesn’t mean I’m being fake,” the 25-year-old from Hackney said. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but all I know that on July 8 I’m going to be in the best shape of my life and ready to put on a good show.
“Eddie doesn’t really give me advice. I’m not the kind of person that needs that. Eddie knows that even if he gave me some advice I would do what I want regardless. I say what I want to say. Eddie decides who I fight and all that stuff but that’s it. I talked the talk beforehand with the Derry Matthews fight (on the David Haye vs Tony Bellew undercard in March) but I delivered.”
WBC Silver belt holder Davies is acutely aware that his undefeated record is under serious threat in Glasgow in just over five weeks time against the Commonwealth champion. A stable-mate of Scotland’s first three-weight world champion Ricky Burns, Davies says he has huge admiration for Scottish boxing fans but is fully expecting a hostile reception when he takes to the ring.
“I love Scotland, I’ve been here three times this year already. Whenever Ricky Burns fights I come up so it’s not alien to me,” he said. “It’s good to be fighting in Glasgow in July. Josh Taylor has got the ability to beat me, 100 per cent. But I know I’ve also got the ability to beat him. It’s going to be a 50-50 fight so may the best man win. I know whatever Josh says he doesn’t really mean it as it’s just business.
“There’s a difference between going in there and performing well and coming to the press conference and talking a whole lot of trash. Just because I haven’t spoken any trash doesn’t mean I don’t want the fight. For people to say I’m just a keyboard warrior doesn’t make any sense. This is the fight I’ve wanted and I’m glad it’s on. This is the biggest fight of my boxing career. What I do after the fight only time will tell.”
He continued: “Josh is a good fighter but that’s why I am in this game, I don’t want to fight bums. People have been saying Taylor is the man out there to beat so that’s who I want to fight. I’ve wanted this fight for some time so I believe I can beat anyone and will do the business.”