Sooner or later, Liam Davies will get the respect he is due.
Within the space of fourteen fights, Davies has won English, British and European titles but rarely gets a mention when Britain’s most talented fighters are discussed.
His stunning first round knockout of the respected Jason Cunningham this July may just have changed things. The spectacular win made Davies must see television and the manner in which he took Cunningham apart not only cemented Davies’ position as Britain’s leading super bantamweight but also as a fighter more than capable of pushing on towards world titles.
“I’ve won every title except a world title now”
Davies defends the European strap against Vincenzo La Femina this weekend. He insists the Italian challenger is nothing more than an obstacle on his path to the top. For all the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
“I’ve had my foot in the door. It’s wedged open now. I’ve won every title except a world title now and I want to end my career having won many world titles,” Davies told 32Red.
“I could never have wished for more,” he said about his fight with Cunningham. “The quicker the better. It wasn’t a big shock really. I’d been in the gym and felt like I’d got better. I felt like it was my time and I proved it on the night.
“This is my time. Whoever’s in my way, I’m gonna knock down. It feels like I’m gonna get to the top of the 122lb division.”
“This is my time”
The super bantamweight division certainly isn’t short of star power. It is currently home to pound-for-pound great and WBC and WBO champion, Naoya Inoue. The Japanese superstar will attempt to unify the division when he takes on WBA and IBF champion, Marlon Tapales on Boxing Day.
Once Inoue and Tapales have settled their business and the world title picture is clearer, Davies will be in prime position for a shot at at least one of the belts. Inoue apart, he doesn’t see anybody else worth losing sleep over.
“I just feel like these guys are too small for me. They aren’t strong. Maybe somebody will prove me wrong and hopefully this Italian can push me but I push myself in every camp and on the fight nights I’ve been comfortable. I’ve won every fight. I’ve not had things go against me where I’ve had to dig in. I’d like to show that side of me too,” he said.
“You know what I’d like? I’d go to Australia and fight Sam Goodman [highly ranked and unbeaten in 16 fights]. I want somebody above me. An American or an Australian. I feel like I’ve cleaned up here. I don’t want to stay here too long. I want to keep pushing on.
“I’ve cruised through and I feel there’s a lot more to come. Once my opportunity comes on the big stage, I know I’m on TNT now and that’s good but I want to be known worldwide. I want to be remembered for many years in boxing and I’ve got to go out and chase that. Out of sight, out of mind.
“I wanna do it in style”
“I wanna be doubted. That’s what I like. The hunger is already there. I’m in that position to do it. I’ve proven that I’m ready to do it and I’m capable.
Before Davies can think about pushing on to world titles, he must defend his title against La Femina this weekend. The Italian is unbeaten and although he may be relatively unknown at the moment, if he beats Davies he will get on the plane back to Campania with some extra hand luggage and a high world ranking.
Davies is in no mood to let that happen. Some fighters may see a fight like this as a no-win situation or a distraction and go into it lacking the necessary motivation. Not Davies. He sees every fight as a chance to impress and, well, enjoy himself.
“I wanna do it in style. This guy’s gonna come and he’s hungry but the bits I’ve seen, I just can’t see how he’s gonna last very long. The things I’m doing in the gym, I feel a million dollars. I know it’s a boxer’s saying but I love a fight. I love boxing and love the game. The training bit is the worst bit for me but the night, I love it.
“Some people get nervous but I’m ready to go. Kill or be killed, that’s how I roll. I know it’s nasty but I’ve always had a nasty streak in me from a young age. My grandad Brian brought me into boxing and when I used to spar these kids who weren’t as good as me, he used to say that he’d rather them say I was a bully than not very good. That’s always stuck with me. I wanna do the business and hope the big fight comes.”