Davis will fight, just not Tua
Appeal Sports Writer
Don’t believe everything you read – especially if the information is coming from a boxing promoter or, for that matter, the Internet.
Case in point is the claim by promoter Cedric Kushner, who claimed on fightnews.com that his fighter, former world heavyweight title challenger David Tua, would be facing Reno heavyweight “Koncrete” Kelvin Davis on Nov. 3, at Roseland Ballroom, in New York.
Tua, 45-3-1 with 39 knockouts, unsuccessfully challenged undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in 2000 and has fought only three times in the last three and a half years.
“That’s his (Kushner’s) fault (for the announcement),” said Kelvin’s brother/trainer/manager Kelly from London, England, on Thursday. “He (Kushner) wanted to sign Kelvin to a long-term, four-year promotional deal. How much do you think a fight with David Tua is worth? He offered us $9,000. I said, ‘You must be missing a zero somewhere.'”
Although record keeping agency boxrec.com also is announcing that the 28-year-old Davis will be facing Tua, Kelly said it’s not going to happen and that Kelvin, 22-4-2 (17) will be fighting Saturday in London against an opponent to be named today.
Davis, who became the first Northern Nevadan to win a world title on May 1, 2004, when he stopped Ezra Sellers for the vacant IBF cruiserweight championship, traveled to England on Oct. 3.
The trip, initially to have been one month in duration, is meant to showcase Davis to English promoter Frank Warren and the nation’s boxing fans as well as lead to some lucrative paychecks.
“It’s even better than I thought,” said Kelly, who is training Kelvin at the All-Star Boxing Gym in London. “The people are really nice. They’re good to us. Everybody speaks together. It’s like a team here with the boxers.”
Davis is coming off a five-round technical knockout of Chris “Cold Steel” Thomas, whom he stopped on the undercard of Paul Williams-Sharmba Mitchell, which was televised by HBO from Reno Events Center.
Although Davis’ fight wasn’t shown in the United States, Kelly said it is getting airplay in England and that fans there have already come to know his brother, whose stature and aggressive fighting style have been compared to former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
Davis has also made an impression on some English boxers and promoters, Kelly said.
“Kelvin sparred a couple rounds with (England’s) No. 1-ranked amateur heavyweight,” Kelly said. “They’ve seen Kelvin in action in practice and they love it. They like how he hits the body – they eat that (deleted) up.
“The dude was 6-foot-4, 230 pounds. It lasted two rounds. Kelvin hit him with a few body shots and then hit him on the chin and it was over.”
Kelly said his brother was training for 12 rounds and is expecting Saturday’s fight to be a 10-rounder. The brothers have made the adjustment to the time difference (it is eight hours later in England), the food (choosing steak and chicken over figs, yogurt and eggs) and the monetary system (a dollar is worth only half its amount there – $2 for one English pound).
Kelly also said the month-long stay in England will be extended indefinitely and that Kelvin is scheduled to fight again on Nov. 17. He said both fights should lead to an unspecified “opportunity.”
In the meantime, Kelly said the brothers are not playing tourist and are staying focused on the task at hand.
“We’re not here to go sight-seeing,” Kelly said. “We go to the gym and then come home. Kelvin’s working out hard (boxing) and hitting the weights.”
Come Saturday, Davis will look forward to hitting his to-be-named opponent instead of the weights.
•Contact Mike Houser at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1220