On September 30, Ohara Davies has a chance to sign a ‘Golden Contract’ with MTK that could see his career elevated to new heights. But first, he has to get past his bitter rival Tyrone McKenna, both boxers harbouring grudges against each other following a fight that broke out in their first ever meeting – outside of the ring. The pair have been swiping at each other ever since and now they get to touch gloves and settle the score once and for all, live on Sky Sports.
With all eyes on the grudge match, BBN decided to dig up some interesting facts about the ‘Marmite’ character, known as ‘OD’:
1. Born in Hackney on February 8, 1992, Ohara had a tumultuous childhood that saw his parents split when he was only six-years-old, and he was subsequently put into care with his siblings when his dad walked out and his mum was admitted to hospital with mental illness. When they were placed into foster care, he was put into a house with one brother, but heartbreakingly split from his older brother and sister. Eventually they were all reunited in the same house with a nice family, but that was after being moved around eight different homes in the space of a few years all over London, Dagenham and as far as Croydon. At one point, he had no contact with his brother and sister for six months, and none of the four children had seen their poorly mum for years.
2. Once his older brother was entrusted to look after their mum, the fragmented family were allowed to return home again to Homerton, a suburb of Hackney, where Ohara spent all his time on the rough Kingsmead council estate, where he quickly fell in with criminal gangs, and admits to selling drugs and robbing innocent people.
3. It wasn’t long before 16-year-old Ohara ended up in Crown Court on an attempted murder charge – someone was stabbed close to his heart, but Davies was found not guilty. He also pleaded guilty to selling Class A drugs on a seperate case, but managed to avoid jail time, instead receiving Community Service and having to attend youth offending teams.
4. He boasts an amateur record of 18-0, but never really felt comfortable with the amateur style. He said so himself, “I always had a style more suited to the pro game. I got told plenty of times in the gym that I’ve got more of a pro style, so when I did finally decide to turn over, I didn’t really have to make any adjustments.”
5. Former amateur coach and long-standing friend, Tony Cesay, is the man attributed to discovering Ohara Davies and teaching him from the very beginning of his boxing journey at a local youth club. Since then, he has been trained by Anthony Yarde’s mentor, Tunde Ajayi; Tony Sims when he joined Matchroom Boxing; Carlos Moreno; and, most recently, Angel Fernandez. Ohara still trains with Tony Cesay from time to time and counts his lifelong mentor as: “the closest thing I’ve ever had to a father figure.”
6. Between 2014-2018, he was signed to Eddie Hearn’s behemoth that is Matchroom Boxing, but it all came crashing down following a controversial comment made on social media on December 29, 2017, about the city of Liverpool when engaged in a war of words with Tommy Coyle. He mistakenly goaded that he would give his “favourite newspaper” the first interview after he beat, referring to ‘The Sun’, which is infamously banned from the city following the Hillsborough tragedy. He said of the incident, “Charlie Sims, my manager at the time, sent me a text: ‘Tommy Coyle sent out a tweet saying he’s looking to get a fight, so why don’t you call him out, try and say something that’s gonna provoke him?’”, which he obviously did. Ohara then professed his innocence in the matter, “I remember Coyle said in a tweet that he doesn’t like ‘The Sun’ because they exposed that he employed criminals to work with kids in his gym. But, to be honest, I’d never heard of Hillsborough, and I’ve said it time and time again. I Googled it but still didn’t get the connection.”
7. Ohara felt that he had been “thrown under the bus” and couldn’t trust Charlie Sims after that had occurred. He split with the Sims, then tried to continue working with Eddie Hearn, but didn’t get a response back from his messages, so MTK arranged for talks with promoter Frank Warren. It was only then that Hearn got in touch with Ohara, who felt it was too little, too late, and signed terms with Warren’s Queensberry Promotions.
8. Within 19 professional contests, he had collected an English lightweight title; WBC Silver and WBC International; and WBA International super-lightweight straps.
9. He has currently defeated 21 opponents, knocking out 16 of them, with a combined record of 286-143-9, and is currently ranked #13 in the IBO World rankings; #5 in BoxRec's British rankings and #18 in their World rankings. His two defeats were at the hands of 22-0 Jack Catterall, now ranked no.4 in the world with the WBO; and 9-0 Josh Taylor, who went on to become a unified World super-lightweight champion.
10. Ohara is already looking to a life outside of boxing, with ambitions to be involved in property investment.