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Shelby's Trainer - Talkin' Boxing w/ Howard Davis Jr.
Posted on 02.15.2006 at 02:41 PM

Talkin' Boxing with Howard Davis Jr.

By Scoop Malinowski

Former 1976 Olympic gold medalist Howard Davis Jr. recently took time out of his busy schedule to talk some boxing: You're the boxing trainer at the American Top Team in South Florida. How is that going?

Howard Davis Jr.: My greatest love now is training stand-up to the MMA fighters. The love of my life now is training. Also my son Dyah Ali Davis has his second pro fight on February 4th in Port St. Lucie. He's a light heavyweight. I was very surprised when he told me he wanted to fight. He called me up last year from New York. He drove all the way down from Florida. The rest is history. He had his first fight in August and won by second-round KO. That's my greatest joy at the moment, I enjoy watching him grow and mature as a boxer, human being. He's a good kid. He's made a lot of progress so far, he's come pretty far in one year, with no amateur fights. Are you impressed by the way Bernard Hopkins has handled his outstanding career? What is your opinion of why he's been so successful at 40?

Howard Davis Jr.: Bernard Hopkins to me is a throwback to the fighters of the '40s and '50s. If I was him I'd make this my last year. You never know when that grim reaper is going to hit you, sympolically speaking. The grim reaper is gonna enter that ring with Bernard Hopkins...He's an intellectual fighter. De la hoya came right at him. Bernard Hopkins kept his cool, kept his composure while he figured it out. Once he realized de la hoya had nothing, he went right after him. Took control. He knew de la hoya was faking it. He took control and made him quit. Can Vitali Klitschko dominate the heavyweight division like Lewis and Tyson?

Howard Davis Jr.: After his last fight I didn't really see anything to tell me he's going to dominate. Danny Williams didn't look like himself. He looked out of shape. He looked like a punch drunk fighter - no balance, no equilibrium. I think that was a different Danny Williams than the Tyson fight - I was at ringside when he fought Tyson. From what I saw - and I know he's getting ready to fight Hasim Rahman - Rahman should go right through him. Throw those overhand rights and it'll be over. If he takes it to him he could end it by the 5th round. All Klitschko has is a right hand. I really didn't see much in that last fight. Vitali Klitschko showed Danny Williams too much respect. You gotta take him out. He didn't show the dominance that you need like Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewid did. Just dominate. I didn't see that. How is Shelby 'Girl' Walker progressing?

Howard Davis Jr.: She's coming along fine, doing well. She's been with American Top Team for seven, eight months. Her first match is on February 12th at the War Memorial in Fort Lauderdale. What are her strengths and weaknesses?

Howard Davis Jr.: She has a devastating right hand. If she hits anyone solid, they're going out. In one MMA fight she made history. She's got the fastest KO on record - seven seconds. But we need to work on her defense more. She's not really a defensive fighter yet. She's improving as we speak. How about her work ethic?

Howard Davis Jr.: Her work ethic is very good. She comes to the gym every day. But she definitely needs to work on her defense. You can't throw punches all the time. That's what I'm working on with her. Defense is just as important as offense.
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