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Davis up and walking

MIKE HOUSER
Appeal Sports Writer

Reno’s “Koncrete” Kelvin Davis continues to make progress after suffering a broken neck and back while training for a heavyweight fight in Auckland, New Zealand.

According to his stepfather, Roy Gaines, the 29-year-old Davis is “up and walking around” and could be released from North Shore Hospital by Saturday. Gaines said Davis and his mother, Frances Gaines, would then relocate for the duration of his immediate recovery at a condominium in Auckland.

Davis, a former IBF cruiserweight champion, underwent an 11-hour surgery June 28 to repair three different breaks in his neck and back after being forced to jump off Greenhithe Bridge in west Auckland on June 25.

After avoiding oncoming traffic while doing his pre-dawn roadwork, Davis plunged 30 feet and landed on his back among dirt and rocks, losing consciousness for approximately two hours. Although he couldn’t walk, Davis climbed back up a dirt hill, where he was found by a passing motorist who then called an ambulance.

Roy Gaines said Davis, a 1996 Sparks High School graduate, avoided not only death and paralysis in the fall, but during his stay he and his brother, Kelly Davis, were fortunate enough to meet a boxing fan who has elected to become Kelvin’s benefactor.

“A guy that Kelvin and Kelly met is a millionaire and he’s taking care of them (Frances and Kelvin), the place where they are staying,” Gaines said. “The information I’m getting is that the hospital bill is already taken care of.”

Although the surgery was apparently without complications, Gaines said Davis’ boxing career remains uncertain.

“He’s not thinking about it right now,” Gaines said. “He said he wants to continue (boxing), but whatever happens in the end (he’ll deal with).”

The 5-foot-7, 205-pound Davis, 26-4-1 with 17 knockouts, was stripped of his cruiserweight belt in 2005 by the IBF after a contract dispute with then-promoter Don King. He had moved up to the heavyweight division and was to face undefeated New Zealander Shane Cameron on June 28 for the WBA Pan African, IBF Pan Pacific and WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight belts.

After stopping substitute Juciner Francisco Hepolito in the first round, Cameron was elevated to No. 15 in the IBF rankings.

Gaines said Davis’ doctor was pleased with his patient’s progress.

“His doctor said everything was looking good,” Gaines said. “He’s making good progress. Kelvin’s optimistic. He’s getting better. He’s taking it pretty good after what happened. He’s ready to get out of there (the hospital). He’ll take his time. He’ll get here and be set up.”

According to Gaines, Davis isn’t suffering.

“Frances said it looks like it’s not hurting him,” Gaines said. “He sits up all day talking. She has to make him lie down and rest.”

Gaines said it’s possible that Davis and his mother will return to Reno within two weeks.

Note: Those interested in sending Davis their well wishes can write him at the following address: Azra & Kariz, 2/10 Tennyson Street, Ballmoral, Auckland, New Zealand 1003.