Ohara Davies couldn’t resist the opportunity to fire off a cheap shot at boxing legend and former WBA featherweight champion Barry McGuigan ahead of tomorrow night’s super lightweight clash with Josh Taylor.
The undefeated Londoner caused quite a stir at yesterday’s final press conference by labelling the Scot and the rest of his Cyclone Promotions team “bums”.
Taylor, the Edinburgh fighter and Commonwealth super lightweight champion, was snapped up by Cyclone director McGuigan in the summer of 2015 and is trained by McGuigan’s youngest son, Shane, in a stable that also includes former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton.
Tomorrow night’s bout at Glasgow’s Braehead Arena, which is being shown live on Channel 5, has already been earmarked as one of the UK’s most intriguing match-ups this year.
Davies’ hard-talking outside of the ring has too often overshadowed the career of a boxer who, McGuigan believes, to be among the best in the world.
“This is someone I really want to shut up. I want to shut his mouth and his coach’s mouth. I think he’s a bum and I think the whole of Cyclone Promotions are bums,” Davies explained. “Taylor’s been talking loads even before I fought Derry Matthews in March and people were saying ‘you need to fight this guy so here I am’.
“I’m not afraid to fight anyone. I’ve got a fighter’s mindset. Nothing is 100 per cent as I could lose this fight and so could he. But there’s never been a camp like this one I’ve been on. But that bell is not going past round six. What you don’t understand is I can’t be imitated. Everything Josh has worked on in the gym and the people he’s been sparring, he’ll soon realise I am a completely different fighter when he gets in there.”
The Hackney-based athlete’s personality is infectious but not in a good way. Yesterday’s press conference was open to the public, with some taking up the opportunity to probe the Englishman on his no-nonsense approach. However, Davies lost all credibility when he began to undermine those in attendance by bragging about the fee he is set to earn which is reported to be in the region of £100,000.
“Boxing is about being free, being yourself and entertaining,” he said. “I don’t turn up with a script or a pen or pad so I don’t know what I’m going to say. I’m freestyle. Nobody tells me how to talk so I’ll do what I want to do. As long as I fight and I win, I get to enjoy all the freedoms of life that all you lot don’t. You’re lucky I came here [to the press conference]. I wasn’t going to turn up but I thought I’d come and talk a bit of trash, entertain people. When he [Josh] talks people are not entertained. But when I come I bring something new.”