Behind-the-scenes production manager known for his effervescent personality and 1,000-watt smile passed away at 62 on Thursday night.
They held a weigh-in for the Danny Garcia-Shawn Porter welterweight title fight at Barclays Center today. And while it was like thousands of other weigh-ins where boxers got on and off the scales to the cheers of supporters and fans, there was something missing—a void at Premier Boxing Championship fights that won’t ever be filled.
Skip Davis, the effervescent, ever-present production manager for Haymon Sports, passed away on Thursday night after a lengthy illness. He was 62-years old. He leaves behind three daughters and a grandson and a slew of friends, who will miss his kind spirit, can-do attitude, booming laugh and bright smile.
The weigh-in is where you would first likely run into Davis on fight weeks. He would take a break from the staging of the arena for the next night to come by and shake hands with friends and give fighters a hug and best wishes. If the weigh-in was being televised, Davis would be on stage making sure the fighters and their camps were in the right spot. Whether up front or behind the scenes, you couldn’t miss him. You would hear that laugh and scan the room until you found the guy with the biggest smile and that would be Davis.
Those who gathered for the Garcia-Porter weigh-in talked mainly about how they would miss that Skip Davis 1,000-watt smile, which lit up every room and every arena that he walked into.
“I will always remember his smile,” said Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment. “You know in this business there isn’t anybody that someone doesn’t say something bad about. But no one in this business had anything bad to say about Skip. He was universally loved by everybody. And that’s rare.”
“If you had anything bad to say about Skip then there was probably something wrong with you,” said trainer Barry Hunter.
“ You know in this business there isn’t anybody that someone doesn’t say something bad about. But no one in this business had anything bad to say about Skip. He was universally loved by everybody. And that’s rare. ” Promoter Lou DiBella on Skip Davis
Plucked from a Sacramento, California radio station where he was a DJ in the early 1980s by Al Haymon to help with the staging and production of the concerts he put on, Davis proved to be the right man for the job. He had an eye for detail and a drive to make sure the job was done right.
“Skip has been with Al for a long time,” said Sam Watson, who worked closely with Davis at Haymon Sports. “He’s handled all the production and behind the scenes staging for Al with all the big concerts for several years – like early on with the Budweiser Super Fest. So when we started with the PBC it was just natural that Skip would be the man to step in and take over the production for it. He was a good man. We all loved him.”
Gordon Hall, Senior VP of Production for Showtime Sports, worked closely with Davis on Showtime’s boxing programming. He said Davis brought a certain positive energy to every show.
“Skip was a can-do kind of guy,” said Hall. “He always worked hard to get the job done. Skip was one of the most positive people you’ve ever met. He just had this certain vibe about him. And that smile that he greeted everyone with. That’s what I remember most.”
Davis was instrumental in almost every aspect of producing the PBC shows. Marcos Villegas, a journalist who did research for some of the FS1 shows, said Davis went out of his way to be helpful to him.
“Skip was one of the few people, who without any gain for himself, would reach out to help me with the stuff I was doing for the FOX shows,” Villegas said. “It shocked me at first and it caught me off guard because most people aren’t like that. But that was his nature. He was just such a genuinely nice guy – a good man. He was always laughing and he always greeted me with a smile and a hug. That’s how I’ll remember him.”
Even as he battled his illness, Davis took time to call friends to check to see how they were doing. Just a few months ago he excitedly talked about a movie project that he was trying to launch about a daring bank robbery crew.
Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing, who was at the weigh-in, said he talked with Davis two weeks ago about an FS1 show in Minneapolis, but did not realize just how sick he was. He summed up the feelings of all of Davis’ friends.
“When I heard he had passed I was devastated,” Margules said. “I’m proud to say he was my friend. He’s going to be greatly missed by everyone.”