WHEN THE PANTOMIME IS OVER…

As Christmas comes to a close, ‘villains’ everywhere are sure to be out-of-work. From scaring children to plotting against their heroic or sometimes just faithfully adored protagonist, the role is often one adopted and exaggerated. 

Boxing has seen many bad boys passing through, from throwaway statements like David Haye’s “gang rape” comment and progressing to the more physical Ricardo Mayorga sexual assault of Shane Mosley’s partner at a weigh-in. It’s a blood sport people, don’t ever underestimate the tension and emotion involved in boxing. But where is the line drawn? When do we decide as a public and a viewership that enough is enough? It seems there are plenty of variables.

People can (and will) say what they like about Ohara Davies. I wonder, how many of them have had to deal with constant upheaval, living in foster care and having a single parent who suffers from mental health issues? The fact he has scraped himself a living as a British sports star should be applauded. But shouldn’t he, then, be someone who knows better? Someone who has witnessed the shit that life can throw at you and had to battle to put food on his plate. Who better than him?

A self-confessed WWE fan, Ohara has built his reputation on three things. Two of those, are his hands. The other one is his Twitter account. Some of his activity on there is detailed below;

  • Decides to launch an attack on Irish boxer Paddy Barnes’ and his new wife in a distasteful, personal fashion.
  • Makes comments about Robbie Davies Jr’s seriously ill (and now sadly passed away) father. Amongst various other comments.
  • Makes repeated references to The Sun newspaper which, although he claims ignorance, seemed to point at their horrendous press following Hillsborough.

Ohara Davies stirs up anger amongst the casual and die-hard fight fans alike. He went to Liverpool, called them ‘minimum wage bums’ and claimed he could buy their houses like that. He generates an incredible amount of interest. Ticket sales, I imagine, are impressive. The sad thing is that his pantomime villain persona has come too early in his career. He has nothing to bring to the table, as yet…

His only massive domestic clash, he lost dramatically, resigning from the contest citing a nose injury. He was outclassed and floored on more than one occasion. No shame in it, Josh Taylor is a World class operator. But he lost. Couple this with the fact he has no impressive titles to boast at this time, a lack of collateral that would soften the blow for any promoter defending his actions. Ohara is, dispensable. He has conducted himself in a way that an indispensable talent could get away with. A Floyd Mayweather or a David Haye for example. When you generate $500m per fight, good luck getting fired from your promotional deal. It was too early for OD. He didn’t hold enough chips to be playing at this table.

Something I’d sell a kidney for would be his conversations with his manager, Charlie Sims. Yes, the geezer from TOWIE. Intriguing to see how he gained his license as a manager or how he spent the years prior to attaining it. Was he a second? A trainer? A cutsman? Or a son with a trendy surname? Promoters make money for their company. Eddie Hearn generates interest and profit for both his stable and his brand. Charlie Sims, however, is responsible for guiding this young man’s career. After the first or second public apology, where was he? What were his words of wisdom? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Not that I have heard/read or seen. I could be mistaken and you may see me issue an apology of my own! Davies should feel let down by Sims. A man he put his trust in, only to be left blind and staggering through the modernist jungle of Twitter and Instagram.

It would also appear Matchroom’s affinity to Liverpool has played its part. Does it matter what you say? Or who it offends? Does it matter who you are? Or where you are? Fascinating to know if any of Hearn’s fighters threw down an ultimatum on Davies’ behaviour. The Smith brothers were absolutely disgusted, you’d imagine Tony Bellew, Rocky Fielding and the other Scouse contingent would be in agreement. How big an impact did this have on Eddie’s decision-making?

In reading Danny Flexen’s intimate interview with Ohara, my appreciation for his struggle as a young Hackney boy and as a man was heightened. One thing men do, is learn. You would hope that he learns, eventually. Because at this stage in his young, promising and exciting career – he is dispensable.

Exit stage left. 

Craig Scott

@craigscott209

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