Ohara Davies talks maturing over time
Undoubtedly, coping with defeat is one of the most difficult lessons that a fighter can learn, mentally and emotionally. Even worse is a defeat by way of stoppage. This was exactly the fate that Ohara “Two-Tanks” Davies (22-0, 16 KO’s) suffered when in against Josh “The Tartan Tornado” Taylor (17-0, 13 KO’s). Not only was Taylor the first to beat the super lightweight, he stopped him with clinical dominance.
While Two-Tanks was game, came forward and fought hard all night, he was often wide and reckless in his attack. This allotted Taylor frequent opportunities to batter Davies with sneaky hard hooks and uppercuts. The accumulation of blows finally overwhelmed Two-Tanks, who was stopped on his feet in the seventh round. Having lost in such one-sided fashion, Davies found that his confidence had been severely shaken.
FEAR OF DEFEAT
Having been affected so gravely, the London native knew he did not want to jump back into the deep end straight away. As he told Pro Beez of Pep Talk UK, Davies chose to ease back into the game.
“What people done understand about this game, when you’re out there knocking everyone out and then you get beat for the first time, and not when you get beat, when you get stopped, it can damage you mentally. It’s like when I fought Taylor. I’m there beating everyone, when I got stopped, in my next fight, I came in scared. I was actually scared! Every time the guy went down, I said to him, ‘please don’t get up!’ I was afraid!
“…it’s like when I fought Taylor and I got stopped. I didn’t come out trying to get a rematch, ‘let me fight him again.’ Naw, I got stopped, I didn’t lose on points. I’m like ‘me, let me sit my ass down, fight a few up and coming fighters, and when it’s my time, I will come back.”
Without question, if one wants to improve themselves, then they have to first undergo an honest self-evaluation. While often an uncomfortable task, this is precisely what Two-Tanks sought to do. Rather than belly-ache or fall into despondency, he decided to rededicate himself to this craft. Having done so, Davies is in a cozy mental space.
“We had to learn on the job, so I made a lot of mistakes early in my boxing career. The way that I liked to talk, the things that I like to say, like not focusing on my fights, like the time that I fought Taylor, that was the biggest fight of my boxing career. I never watched him once! I never sat down and watched any of his tapes… but it’s experience now and now I’ve learned when I win a big fight, I’m taking five months off before I start getting ready for a new fight. It’s all about taking your time and don’t rush things, but you live and you learn.”
By: Bakari Simpson