TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) – From his breezy method and unwavering confidence, you’d by no means guess that Keyshawn Davis had suffered from psychological well being points simply 4 years earlier than his Olympic debut as a light-weight boxer for Group USA.
Throughout his last yr of highschool at age 18, the Virginia native’s nervousness and anger have been so overpowering they landed him in a psychological well being facility, the place he discovered to speak via his issues by watching even youthful youngsters do the identical.
These days are behind him, Davis mentioned, and nothing was going to cease him from attaining his childhood dream of successful an Olympic gold medal – what can be the primary for U.S. males’s boxing since 2004.
“I am getting the gold. That is not even a query,” Davis mentioned on Saturday, having simply overwhelmed Rio silver medallist Sofiane Oumiha. The bout led to a referee cease after Davis landed a strong hook that despatched the Frenchman wobbling.
“I received no selection however to get gold. I will get gold, and that is what I am taking pictures for, is getting gold.”
Davis mentioned that having to go up in opposition to a top-seeded boxer in solely his second bout had solely labored to fireside him up.
“They’ve given me these more durable opponents early. I really feel sort of disrespected, like they’re making an attempt to get me out of the match early,” mentioned Davis, who solely gained his ticket to Tokyo final month via the Worldwide Olympic Committee Boxing Job Drive.
“Or that is simply how I take it to inspire myself to enter every one in every of these fights. However I do not care in case you gave me (Cuban two-time world champion) Andy Cruz the primary day. I used to be going to beat him and transfer on to the subsequent day.”
Davis, who plans to renew his skilled boxing profession after Tokyo, mentioned his psychological well being issues are handled now however that the lengthy months of quarantine have been troublesome for him, as that they had been for different athletes.
“Lots of people do not know tips on how to take care of quarantine and us elite athletes journey. We’re so busy that we by no means have time to take care of ourselves,” he mentioned.
“I simply hope the most effective for all these athletes, all these athletes that got here right here to compete within the Olympics… I perceive all people that is going via psychological well being points as a result of I have been via the worst.”
Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim
Modifying by Christian Radnedge
Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.