Davies vs Taylor will see a genuine rivalry come together this weekend of two of Britain’s most exciting professional boxing prospects.
Two young, unbeaten prospects facing off at such an early stage in each other’s career was always going to produce an explosion of emotions ahead of fight night.
Josh Taylor and Ohara Davies come in with mutual respect for one another’s potential, but the two have not quite earnt the admiration of one another with displays inside the ring.
Davies 15-0(12KO’s) narrowly edges Taylor in significant professional contests. Taylor 9-0(8KO’s) has a stellar win over Dave Ryan – inside the distance – but Davies scored a similar victory over Derry Mathews last time out, and was also forced to go the 12-round distance – and did so comfortably against underrated Andrea Scarpa.
A fight pitting two boxers with a combined 24-0(20KO’s) is exactly the trend boxing needs. Especially British boxing, with the level of talent at this level too often leading to divisional foes being guided to separate world titles.
Then the inevitable usually occurs. One fighter loses or moves division, and the end goal of matching the two together never comes to fruition.
A clash between Davies and Taylor will not be the making or breaking of either man, and should, after the pair settle their differences in the ring, they both go on to achieve stardom, then a future rematch with world belts on the line seems a realistic option.
You need look no further than James Degale and George Groves for the perfect comparison here. They shared an epic battle that has added more fuel to the fiery rivalry.
Now the pair are world champions and raring for a rematch with world title belts to unify. The feeling is that the home favourite – Taylor – is also the slight favourite coming in.
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His superior amateur experience has instantly turned him into the next hope for Scottish fight fans, and his long frame in the Super Lightweight division seems to have him set for future world title endeavours.
His shot selection is carved from the amateur game, and his years in the boxing gym at such a high level has helped whittle him an excellent physique. Much like the shorter, but bulkier Davies.
Davies is athletic and awkward, and may have the tougher style to deal with despite being the orthodox fighter, while Taylor boxes out of a southpaw stance.
And in spite of having a slightly lesser KO percentage, the strong belief is that Ohara is the heavier handed of the two.
Having taken a dislike to Davies prior to their match – Derry Mathews was full of praise for the Londoner after the clash, and those high praises will have only fuelled his belief that he is bound for stardom.
Tempers have already rose (hat tip – IFL TV)
A 50/50 contest with so little to choose between the two in almost all departments.
That is far from being a fresh saying this year, with an endless amount of high quality matchups already taking place in a sport that continues to thrive.
Watching this fight won’t be half as difficult as it is to predict a winner.
The feeling is that for Davies, he still has many more gears to move through, whereas the Commonwealth champion is already hitting his boxing peak – thanks to being at the very top level in the amateur game.
While that could mean the champion will have too much at this stage for Davies, it could also be that Saturday is the night that Ohara makes that next step, and produces a performance Taylor and his team could not have prepared for.
Taylor’s accuracy can frustrate the challenger early on, leaving him second best in the opening rounds.
The fight could however be decided when Davies lands flush. If Taylor is hurt then the belief is that Ohara can rush in to change the contest completely.
Taylor would hang in there and regroup, but the momentum would shift significantly enough to alter the fights outcome.
But if Taylor stands up to Davies’ punching power, then he should tough it out down the stretch to hold on to his titles in a close affair.
The pick is for the latter, with Davies catching up from a slow start.
But Taylor’s confidence will also grow as he sees the finish line in sight, knowing that his early dominance will pay dividends on the cards.
One judge may tally the fight even, but Davies will be left to rue an indecisive start as he is narrowly outpointed by Taylor.