By Jim Calfa: Top Rank promoter Todd Duboef says he thinks lightweight contender Keyshawn Davis has elements to his game that make him similar to former superstars Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto.
Duboef sees the 24-year-old Keyshawn as having maturity and has done well in adapting to the pro ranks. Although Davis doesn’t have the blazing hand speed of Mayweather or the power & ruggedness that Cotto possessed, Duboef still thinks he’s similar to those fighters.
The 2020 Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn (9-0, 6 KOs) is fighting this Saturday night in a ten-round showcase contest against Nahir Albright (16-2, 7 KOs) as the chief support for the middleweight clash between WBO champion Janibek Alimkhanuly & IBF champ Vincenzo Gualtieri.
The Janibek vs. Gualtieri card will be staged at the Fort Bend Community Center, Rosenberg, Texas. It’ll be shown on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.
Keyshawn’s last three opponents:
Juan Carlos Burgos
“Floyd had a lot of those natures. He had a great maturity and IQ. I’m not going to say he’s Floyd or Cotto yet, but I think he has the elements,” said Top Rank promoter Todd Duboef to Sky Sports about lightweight contender Keyshawn Davis.
Duboef is slightly off with his comparison, as Keyshawn is nothing like Mayweather or Cotto. He’s very, very different than either of those two, but he’s still an excellent fighter. Entertainment-wise, Keyshawn is a lot more exciting to watch than Mayweather’s fights, which involved most potshots in a hit-and-run style.
Fans like to see fighters play tag & move and enjoy Mayweather’s fights, but Keyshawn is more of a brawler and far more enjoyable to watch than Floyd’s rather dull contests.
Keyshawn fights more like Cotto than Mayweather, but he doesn’t bring the same drama to his fights that Miguel did. Cotto was putting his chin on the line in order to score knockouts, and he was more of a warrior type than what Keyshawn has shown during his short two-year professional career.
“I think Keyshawn is obviously special. Miguel Cotto was a natural. He came right out of the amateurs and had a physical presence and could be in the ring with anybody,” said Duboef.
What Top Rank needs to do is start matching Keyshawn against better opposition because he has an Olympic pedigree and doesn’t need to be wasting time by fighting lower-level fighters like Albright, Yigit, and Patera.
One idea would be for Top Rank to take Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn up on his offer of matching 2020 Olympic gold medalist Andy Cruz against Keyshawn. Hearn has volunteered to make that fight, and it would be an excellent one for Keyshawn and fans.
The Cuban Cruz defeated Keyshawn in the 2020 Olympics, beating him 4-1. It was a fight that could have gone the other way, as Keyshawn landed the harder punches, but the judges were more impressed with the flashy shots & superb technical skills of Cruz.
Recently, Cruz turned professional and defeated Juan Carlos Burgos by a ten-round unanimous decision last July.
“Every time I fight, people just love watching me fight, and I don’t think it’s going to change,” said Keyshawn to Fight Hub TV.
“Hell yeah, and if I don’t, it’s not because of me,” said Keyshawn when asked if he thinks he’ll eventually get a fight against Gervonta Davis. “I would like to fight.”
It’s unrealistic to think that Mayweather Promotions & PBC will allow Tank Davis to fight Keyshawn because that’s a hard fight for their star, and they’re focusing more on winnable, easy-money fights like Ryan Garcia & Isaac Cruz.
“Sparring the man, being in the ring hand to hand,” said Keyshawn about how Terence Crawford has helped him improve his game. “It’s no difference from Shakur, but I feel Terence’s mentality was something I’d never seen before.
“Terence has that ‘I don’t give a f**k’ mentality, just like BoMac’ [McIntyre]. Me and BoMac clicked because I come with that same mentality.”