21.08.06 – By John Way: Shuffled deep into the undercard of the Paul Williams-Sharmba Mitchell fight last Saturday, cruiserweight Kelvin “Koncrete” Davis managed his first win since his May 2004 defeat of Ezra Sellers. Since then, Davis has reneged on a rematch with previous conqueror O’Neil Bell, been stopped by Guillermo Jones in four rounds, lost by unanimous decision to Stevie Cunningham, and been held to a draw by Charles Shufford. Despite being a hair shorter than Marco Antonio Barrera (who turned professional as low as flyweight), Kelvin is rock solid at 200lbs., with a crowd-pleasing style build around a good chin, and a crunching, two-fisted attack.
Saturday night he stepped in against 16-5-2 Chris Thomas. Showing zero respect for his overmatched opponent, Davis started fast at the opening bell, and didn’t let up until the fight was stopped late in the fifth stanza. He was rightfully confident, having stopped Thomas in two rounds six years ago. Though brave beyond the call of duty, it appears that Thomas isn’t quite as talented as initially assumed, by virtue of his nip and tuck performance against Felix Cora Jr.
In his last performance prior to the win Saturday against Thomas, Davis, despite being outweighed by approximately Raphael Marquez, managed to pull out a draw against former heavyweight prospect Charles Shufford. Shufford, now a jab ‘n grab journeyman who represents everything that’s distasteful about the heavyweight division, in my opinion, has been in with a decent list of performers, and even boasts a win over former heavyweight champion, Lamon Brewster.
Next month Davis is signed to face durable Michael Simms. Assuming he can prevail in convincing fashion there, Davis can look for a higher profile fight down the line, possibly on ShoBox in late November. At this point, a fight with Wayne Braithwaite could be just what the doctor ordered for both men. Another victim of Guillermo Jones, “Big Truck” hasn’t fought since then, and, after looking top-drawer in his earlier fights with Dale Brown and Vincenzo Cantatore, seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. In such an evenly matched fight, a win for either man would almost certainly mean a return to top ten status, while a loss wouldn’t necessarily mean the end of the world.
If negotiations with Braithwaite prove insurmountable, Vassily Jirov, another deposed champion, would prove equally attractive and even more winnable for Davis. In spite of his weak performances in recent fights, “Meat and Potatos” Jirov still has a diehard fan club, along with name recognition value based on his exciting fights with James Toney, Joe Mesi, and Jorge Castro. Whether or not he still has his legendary ferocity is another question.
Darnell “Ding-A-Ling” Wilson is another option. Coming off a string of losses/draws against Josh Ledwaba, George Khalid Jones, Owen Beck, Felix Cora jr. et al. he is a squat, heavily muscled bomber. In fact, Wilson has often been likened with Davis stylistically, in terms of an their respective over-dependance on punching power. However, comparing Wilson to Davis terms of overall ability is the equivalent of comparing Uriah Heap to Van Halen. Nevertheless, Wilson versus Davis is a very attractive fight from an entertainment standpoint.
Of course, if all else fails for Davis, a rubber match with Chris Thomas wouldn’t be difficult to schedule. Assuming he stays busy after the fight with Michael Simms, it isn’t hard to envision Davis reentering the world title picture in 2007, perhaps culminating with a rematch against universally recognized champion, O’Neil “Super Nova” Bell. Comments and questions are welcome below.