Kyrone Davis Is Ready For The Next Level

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The former amateur standout has found a home in the middleweight division and is ready for a world title shot.

It’s an overused phrase but look no further than last Saturday’s PBC on Prime Video main event to understand why boxing is called “the theatre of the unexpected.”

On a historic night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, 21-year-old Elijah Garcia faced veteran Kyrone “Shut It Down” Davis. Garcia, the undefeated 2023 PBC Prospect of the Year, was one of the most talked about young fighters in the sport. Many tabbed the hard-hitting southpaw as the man to revive the middleweight division and usher in a new golden age. 

Davis, 29, wasn’t quite considered a steppingstone yet was a heavy underdog, with pundits already discussing potential Garcia fights versus champions Erislandy Lara and Carlos Adames. 

True to his moniker, Davis shut all that chatter down. 

Utilizing boxing skills, speed and movement, the former two-time amateur champion turned in the finest performance of his career, stymieing Garcia to win a 10-round split decision. 

Judge Max De Luca scored the contest 97-93, while Eric Cheek had it 98-92, both for Davis, with judge John McKaie seeing it 97-93 for Garcia. 

Not all were surprised by the outcome. Davis has always been full of potential. A former 2016 Olympic alternate led by respected trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards, Davis’s skill and athleticism jumped off the screen when he turned pro at age 19 in 2014. Yet, to date, his career felt like the lyrics to an old Paula Abdul single: two steps forward and two steps back. He was 10-0 when he dropped a unanimous decision to the unheralded Junior Castillo in 2016. Three wins later, he was on the wrong end of another decision, this time to Patrick Day. 

“Four or five weeks out, I was 192 pounds,” Davis recalled. “I felt it in my body, and my trainer, Stephen Edwards, was telling me the whole time that I couldn’t do this to myself. I got down to 154 in a month. If you watch the fight, you’ll notice I was really getting off. But as the fight went on, I started to fade. My body couldn’t take the rapid weight loss. Patrick Day...deserved to win that fight.

“But after that fight, I didn’t know whether or not I would get back into the ring again. I was in a bad mental state. I didn’t understand where I was. I had to heal a lot of self-doubt. I took things for granted, but I learned a lot from that fight.”

I took things for granted, but I learned a lot... Middleweight Contender - Kyrone Davis

Following two more wins, Davis accepted a challenge to move up to super middleweight and face former two-time champion Anthony Dirrell. Working behind the jab and fighting a more disciplined fight than usual, Davis battled to a disputed 12-round draw despite facing “The Dog” at a personal career-high 167 ½ pounds.

Continuing to fight out of his optimal weight class, in November 2021 Davis took a fight against unbeaten two-time 168-pound world champion David Benavidez on barely four weeks’ notice. He gave a valiant effort, warring with heavy favorite Benavidez until ultimately succumbing in the seventh round when trainer Edwards threw in the towel.  

The fights at super middleweight, particularly the Benavidez bout, may have clouded the forecast for Garcia-Davis. Those who expected a walkover for Garcia quickly realized the error of their ways as Davis jumped out to an early lead, working behind the jab and using movement to offset Garcia’s attack. Garcia (16-1, 13 KOs) continued to apply pressure, oftentimes pinning Davis on the ropes and landing to the body.

The fight grew increasingly closer as the rounds progressed, yet Davis remained composed, countering well off the ropes. Garcia landed several head-snapping shots in rounds nine and 10, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Davis’s lead. 

So, what’s next for Davis? Garcia was the WBA’s top-rated middleweight contender, meaning Davis’s win over him puts him in line to challenge champion Erislandy Lara. 

Prior to the Garcia fight, Davis (19-3, 6 KOs) told reporters, “I think all of those [fights] accumulated together has gained me the experience to fight a fight like this and be calm and understand the magnitude of the fight but not let it get to my head. Knowing how to prep, and what my body needs to perform at the best level.”

If Davis is at his best level fighting in the next level, watch out. 

For a closer look at Kyrone Davis, check out his fighter page. 

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