Having enjoyed some well-earned rest following his last victory – an impressive stoppage win over tough Hungarian, Zoltan Szabo, in Preston in January – Liverpool’s world-ranked super-lightweight Robbie Davies Jnr. is back in the gym with trainer Dave Tonks and admits he can’t wait to get back in the ring for real.
One of the hottest names in arguably the most outstanding division in British boxing at the moment, the likeable Davies holds the WBA Continental title and, having defended it twice in 12 months, recently rose to no 5 in that organisation’s world ratings.
Reigning WBA champion Julius Indongo defeated Ricky Burns in Glasgow last weekend, and, whilst an interested observer who would relish a fight against the Namibian for world honours, Robbie knows that this may be a couple of fights away yet – although opportunities against other big names may also come his way in 2017.
Davies said: “I’m back in the gym with Dave and training is going great. We’re looking at fighting around the end of May or the beginning of June, hopefully on another ITV show against another quality opponent.”
Pressed on the names in the frame Robbie reveals ones that underline the level he is currently perceived to be at by his peers: “I leave my manager Neil [Marsh] to sort out opponents but it’s no secret that we’ve been looking at some top names. We’ve wanted Ashley Theophane for a while but he doesn’t want to know – he thinks he should be getting a world title shot but he’s not ranked with anyone as he’s not beaten anyone decent for a long time. If he wants a title shot then he’s got to beat a ranked fighter and I’m No. 5 with the WBA but he still said no.
Whilst Robbie respects the long list of quality domestic fighters in arguably the strongest division in Britain at the moment, he wouldn’t turn down a fight against any of the current champions or contenders should the offer be worthwhile – including the one name that has been linked with him ever since the latter’s defeat of Derry Mathews in March; Ohara Davies.
“Ohara is nothing special,” says Robbie, “and most people know it. He’s all talk. I’m looking way above his level but, if the deal was right, then I’d love to shut him up but we know him and Eddie [Hearn] wouldn’t take it. If Theophane and others who are miles better than him don’t want to know then there’s no way Davies does.”
Robbie’s win over Szabo in January was screened live on terrestrial TV as part of the build-up to ITV Box Office’s ‘Big Fight Live’ coverage of Chris Eubank Jr’s IBO world super-middleweight title fight the following month and, with the broadcaster looking to bolster its return to the sport after a notable period of absence, the chance for the scouser to add to both his growing reputation and support seems a good one.
He said: “Hopefully my next fight will be on ITV as well. It’s another chance to increase my exposure and win over some more fans. I got a lot of good comments after my last fight and the whole experience was one I want to enjoy again. The build-up, the interviews, all the press coverage – it was another level and I thought I did well. I was more tentative early on in the fight than I would have liked, simply due to the occasion, but I’ve experienced it now and had a taste and I want more. My next fight will be even more exciting and the fans should really be looking forward to it, especially if, as we want, we manage to actually get a big name to say, ‘Yes – we’ll take that scouser on!’”
Davies’ manager, Neil Marsh, who has already built a world champion by taking little known Armenian, David Avenasyan, from obscurity to contests against the biggest names in the sport, knows what it takes to enable fighters to achieve their dreams, and he too is confident that young Robbie will reach the top sooner rather than later.
He said: “Robbie is one of the hottest talents in British boxing, let alone at super-lightweight which everyone thinks is the best division anyway. We’re looking at some of the biggest names around for him but even the biggest don’t want to know. Theophane is a good example. Some may think they’re a risk for us – but I am 100% confident Robbie would win those types of fights. He really is that good. [Ohara] Davies is another name being bandied about but we all know there’s no way Eddie takes that fight – and rightly so too; I wouldn’t want my unbeaten kid to fight Robbie either!
“Robbie will be out in the next eight weeks or so and, as he says, fans and viewers can be sure he will be even more exciting this time.”