Davis finds himself with the biggest opportunity of his pro career against Foreman (Photo courtesy of Team Davis).
Written by John Archibald, Resolution Sports
Junior middleweight Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis (14-9, 6 KOs) is one of those boxing rarities who will literally take on any opponent at any time. The fearless representative of the renowned Shuler’s Gym in Philadelphia is the true definition of a fighter who calls the City of Brotherly Love his home, and that is the honest truth.
Davis has been in the ring with internationally established fighters such as WBO Middleweight Champion Peter Quillin, as well as long-time contenders Gabriel Rosado and Joel Julio, just to name a few. Now, coming off a gritty and courageous performance against the once-beaten Patrick Majewski in front of the Polish fighter’s hometown Atlantic City fans, Davis will once again head back into the danger zone when he faces former WBA Champion Yuri Foreman (30-2, 8 KOs) on July 24th as part of DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing at the Roseland Ballroom in downtown Manhattan.
“Training has been great,” Davis said of the preparation that he and trainer Sharron Baker have been doing for this bout. “There’s been a lot of learning and focusing on some new things coming off my last fight. The sparring has been good, and I’ve been enjoying the flow of our camp. Everything is going the way it’s supposed to be.”
A huge opportunity lies in front of Davis with a former world champion in Foreman being his next opponent. The chance is not one that the Philadelphia native is taking for granted, and he says that he plans to leave everything in the ring next Wednesday night.
“I was in the gym training when my team called me and asked if I’d want the fight,” he stated. “All I said was ‘Yeah.’ I didn’t even have to think about it. I’ve never been one to run or say I only want to fight this person or that person. I’m willing to fight anyone, no matter who it is. The outcomes are up to me. I see this as an opportunity for me, and I have everything to gain off it.”
An unquestionably class individual nowadays, Davis admits that he grew up as a troubled youth in a street environment that almost took him under. Eventually, it was the sport of boxing that saved him as a young man, and he headed onto a better path in life after he began putting on the gloves.
“I grew up in the streets with a lot of aggression,” he reflected. “You really can’t be scared of anything in the streets. When you choose to run these streets, you end up getting into fights in school and constantly stay in trouble. You really aren’t scared of anything. My step-pop told me that if I was going to fight, I might as well get paid for it because I was getting into a lot of trouble behind it. I’ve pretty much stuck with boxing ever since.”
Through all of those struggles as a troubled youth, as well as the ups-and-downs of a boxing career that Davis himself says has yet to live up to his own expectations, the 32-year-old fighter now finds himself in the biggest position of his professional life. A win over a former world champion like Foreman would finally elevate him to a level that his skills have certainly always shown the ability to achieve. The opportunities that could come with a win next week would also provide Davis with the platform to reach all of the goals that he set out for himself when he first stepped through the ropes as a professional fighter nearly a decade ago.
“Honestly, I’m just looking for the win,” Davis shared. “Yuri Foreman is a former world champion, and they’re moving him to put him back in position. I’m taking this as an opportunity to knock him off whatever mission his team has for him. It’s my job to go in there and win. It’s my job to be victorious and to look good doing it. Beating Yuri Foreman can lead me to the chance to achieve anything I want. He is a former world champion, so he knows what it takes to be a world champion. He still possesses that world championship mindset within him. It’s up to me to show that I can rise to the occasion and get the job done.”
With Foreman’s last knockout occurring over seven years ago, it is not expected that his power should be much of a factor for Davis to overcome, but the New York native, who is known for being a rather technical boxer, will have the support of a hometown crowd behind him.
“I just want to get in there, keep my hands up and give a lot of head movement,” Davis hinted. “I want to make sure I don’t bleed or anything like that, and I just need to make sure I deliver my best performance.”
Now entering the final stage of preparation for this bout, Davis appears as calm and collective as his team could possibly hope. He has known his entire career that he has the skills and ability to defeat some of the best in the sport, and next Wednesday night provides the Philadelphia native with the stage to prove to himself and everyone else that he is truly capable of doing that.
“Mentally, I know I’m ready,” Davis concluded. “I feel as though this fight came along for the right reasons and at the right time. I want everyone to look forward to me performing at a championship level because I have to do that in order to win this fight. I have to perform as if I’m the champion and I’m going in there to defend my championship. This is the way I feel. If there’s anybody I owe the opportunity to win this fight, it’s my trainer because this is a name fighter who has already accomplished so much. When I come into New York City for this fight, I’m going in there to get the win.”