By Chang-Ran Kim
TOKYO (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 Workforce USA.
Throughout his ultimate 12 months of highschool at age 18, the Virginia native’s nervousness and anger had been so overpowering they landed him in a psychological well being facility, the place he discovered to speak by his issues by watching even youthful youngsters do the identical.
These days are behind him, Davis stated, and nothing was going to cease him from reaching his childhood dream of profitable an Olympic gold medal – what could be the primary for U.S. males’s boxing since 2004.
“I am getting the gold. That is not even a query,” Davis stated 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 acquired no selection however to get gold. I will get gold, and that is what I am capturing for, is getting gold.”
Davis stated that having to go up in opposition to a top-seeded boxer in solely his second bout had solely labored to fireplace 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,” stated Davis, who solely gained his ticket to Tokyo final month by the Worldwide Olympic Committee Boxing Process Drive.
“Or that is simply how I take it to encourage myself to enter every considered one of these fights. However I do not care in the event 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 following day.”
Davis, who plans to renew his skilled boxing profession after Tokyo, stated 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 how you can 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 stated.
“I simply hope the perfect for all these athletes, all these athletes that got here right here to compete within the Olympics… I perceive all people that is going by psychological well being points as a result of I have been by the worst.”
(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Modifying by Christian Radnedge)