Keyshawn Davis is bothered by the lone blemish on his professional boxing record.
The result of his last fight – a 10-round, majority-decision victory over Nahir Albright – was changed to a no-contest by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation because Davis tested positive for marijuana. That controversy caused Davis to stop smoking pot, which the talented lightweight feels has had a positive impact on his life both in and out of the ring.
Davis believes he’ll be able to reach his potential now that he no longer indulges in marijuana, starting when he faces former two-division champion Jose Pedraza on Thursday night in Las Vegas. Regardless, as much as he regrets that a no-contest has officially replaced the 10th win on his record, Davis (9-0, 6 KOs, 1 NC) wasn’t pleased with the original outcome of his fight with Albright, either.
The Norfolk, Virginia native feels he beat Albright convincingly October 14 at Fort Bend Epicenter in Rosenberg, Texas, just outside of Houston.
Judges John Basile, who scored Davis-Albright a draw (95-95), and Robert Hoyle, who scored Davis a 96-94 winner, clearly disagreed with Davis’ recollection of the action. Judge David Sutherland credited Davis with a wider win, 97-93.
The 24-year-old Davis contended that even Sutherland had it too close.
“I think I won every round,” Davis told BoxingScene.com. “I don’t think it was a close fight at all. I think, you know, the judges just made the state of Texas commission look real bad because everybody in the arena was booing because of the scorecards. You know what I’m saying? So, it really kinda made themselves look bad. I knew I won at the end of the day, so I wasn’t scared or nervous or anything like that [when the fight ended].”
CompuBox counted 47 more connections overall for Davis, despite that he threw 94 fewer punches than Albright (139-of-331 to 92-of-425). The 2021 Olympic silver medalist landed more power punches (84-of-164 to 59-of-204) and jabs (55-of-167 to 33-of-221), according to CompuBox.
Davis revealed that he fought through a lingering stomach issue during his fight with Albright (16-2, 7 KOs, 1 NC).
“The only thing I didn’t really like about it was my stomach was hurting,” Davis said of his performance against Albright. “And I just had to fight through it again. But I never really made that excuse. I just respect the fact that I still can go in there and win every round, and still look good.”
Davis is more motivated than ever to look good against Puerto Rico’s Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs) in his first fight since he battled Albright. Pedraza is a former IBF junior lightweight and WBO lightweight champ, but DraftKings sportsbook still lists Davis as an 11-1 favorite to beat a 34-year-old opponent who is 0-2-1 in his past three fights.
“I’m just excited, really, to show everybody who I am,” Davis said. “This fight is gonna give me my respect. I feel like a lotta people is doubting me. I just can’t wait.”
ESPN will broadcast Davis-Pedraza as the 10-round opener of a doubleheader slated to begin at 10:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT) from Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena. Former unified lightweight champ Teofimo Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) will make his first defense of the WBO junior welterweight title against Jamaine Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs) in the 12-round main event.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.