DALLAS — Amateur boxer Mike Davis is often referred to as “Iron Mike,” a nickname that was given to him a couple of years ago by his coach, Devonshea Smith.
Although former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is widely known as “Iron Mike” in the professional boxing world, Davis essentially has added a unique distinction to such a familiar label.
Among the reasons is those who have followed Davis closely since he made his debut on the amateur circuit three years ago don’t merely liken his mechanics to Tyson.
Instead, many believe Davis’ immense skills have drawn comparisons to that of Floyd “Money” Mayweather, the undefeated, five-division world champion and world’s No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound boxer who will square off Saturday night against Manny Pacquiao in a much-anticipated bout in Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“He reminds me of Floyd Mayweather with his confidence and drive,” Alicia Davis, Mike Davis’ mother, told MemphiSport during a telephone interview from St. Louis Thursday afternoon.
Dubbed the Battle for Greatness or The Fight of the Century, Mayweather, who boasts a 47-0 record with 26 knockouts, will put his unified WBA, WBC, WBO welterweight titles on the line against an upset-minded Pacquiao, whom many media pundits sense is arguably the champion’s toughest foe to date.
A native of Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines and nicknamed, “Pac-Man,” the 36-year-old Pacquiao brings a 57–5–2 record into Saturday’s main event, having won three consecutive bouts.
Thirty-eight of Pacquiao’s wins have come as a result of knockouts.
“Yes sir, I am big on Mayweather because I think he has some skills I want to follow someday,” Mike Davis said.
To his credit, Mike Davis, a Pine Bluff, Arkansas native, has held his own in such a brief time on the amateur boxing circuit. For starters, this slim, speedy 12-year-old six-grader took part in his first competitive fight in October 2012, winning by unanimous decision. He has since had 31 competitive bouts, having won a majority of them.
“He has a good right hand and slip punches well,” Alicia Davis said. “The sky is the limit because he started at a young age and continues to advance.”
Fortunately for Mike Davis, his skills haven’t gone unnoticed, in large part because the organization for which he fights is sanctioned by USA Boxing.
Mike Davis owns a No. 3 national ranking in the Silver Gloves, 75-pound division in rankings that were released recently by USA Boxing.
Having weighed in at just over 78 pounds, he was upgraded last week to the 80-pound division.
Although a recent weeklong illness prompted his mother to pull him from the upcoming regional bouts in Oklahoma in mid-May so he could concentrate on academics — her son is a member of the Junior National Honor Society — Mike Davis said his primary focus over the next few weeks is to condition regularly, keep his weight down, and gear up for preparing to add to his already congested trophy case.
“For all of my (upcoming) fights, I’m going for the win,” Mike Davis said. “And for Jr. Olympics and Silver Gloves (competition), I’m going for the belt.”
As for whom he thinks will emerge victorious Saturday between Mayweather versus Pacquiao in what many boxing experts believe will the highest grossing fight in history, it is no secret that Mike Davis believes Mayweather will walk out of the ring still armed with an unblemished mark.
“Mayweather I think got more heart than Pacquiao,” Mike Davis said. “He got mad speed. He has the right amount of speed over Pacquiao to win. I think he’ll win by unanimous decision, because sometimes you’ve got to have much power to fight Pacquiao. But I think Mayweather will fight his fight.”
Much like “Iron Mike” has done on the amateur circuit in recent years.
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.