Davis recovering from surgery | NevadaAppeal.com

Davis recovering from surgery

Appeal Sports Writer

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Reno heavyweight “Koncrete” Kelvin Davis is proving to be every bit the champion out of the ring as he was in it.

The 29-year-old Davis, a former IBF cruiserweight titlist, underwent an 11-hour surgery on his spine Thursday at North Shore Hospital, in Auckland, New Zealand, and is said to be up and walking, according to his stepfather, Roy Gaines.

On June 25, while doing his early morning roadwork in preparation for his June 28 bout against undefeated Shane Cameron, also of Auckland, N.Z., Davis was jogging across the narrow Greenhithe Bridge in west Auckland, when an oncoming truck forced him to jump over the side of the structure.

Davis fell approximately 30 feet, landing flat on his back among the dirt and rocks under the bridge, where he was unconscious for about two hours.

As his older brother and trainer Kelly Davis conducted a futile search in the dark, Kelvin regained consciousness and, unable to walk and realizing nobody knew where he was, crawled up a 30-foot hill, where a passing motorist saw him and called an ambulance.

Davis, who became Northern Nevada’s first world champion when he defeated Ezra Sellers for the vacant IBF cruiserweight belt on May 1, 2004, was believed at first to have suffered a fractured neck, which would heal on its own.

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After further tests were done, it was found that both his neck and back were broken and the decision was made to operate on both of them.

“The doctors said they’d never seen anybody who’d had a fall like that and not ended up dead or paralyzed,” said Gaines, an ordained minister for the Ray of Hope Baptist Church in Reno. “God was right there with him. He’s walking. His mother (Frances Gaines) is there. He’s making a speedy recovery.”

Roy Gaines said that his wife left on Friday and arrived in New Zealand on Saturday. He said an unknown party is giving her a place to stay free of charge while her youngest son recuperates. Gaines said Davis is expected to remain in New Zealand for another three or four weeks.

“God blessed us to get (Frances) over there,” Gaines said. “She’s much happier. She’s got her sons over there and they’ll come home together.”

Now that his mother is there, Kelly Davis, who Gaines said remains “numb” from the incident, will probably return to Reno in about a week.

Gaines also said he’s had many phone calls on Kelvin since the accident and feels fortunate that his son and wife are getting such good care in New Zealand.

“All of the people are very nice,” he said.

Davis, a 1996 Sparks High School graduate, has a professional record of 24-6-2 with 17 knockouts and was scheduled to challenge Cameron, 18-0 (16), for his WBA Pan African, IBF Pan Pacific and WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight belts. The winner would’ve likely been ranked in the Top 12 of all three sanctioning bodies.

Because of the extent of his injuries, it is uncertain whether Davis will be able to continue his career.