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Howard Davis Jr.
Davis with Chuck Liddell, 2009
|Full name||Howard Edward Davis Jr.|
|Born||(1956-02-14)February 14, 1956
Glen Cove, New York, United States
|Died||December 30, 2015(2015-12-30) (aged 59)
Plantation, Florida, United States
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||60 kg (132 lb)|
|Weight class||Lightweight and Featherweight|
Howard Edward Davis Jr. (February 14, 1956 – December 30, 2015) was an American amateur and professional boxer. Growing up on Long Island as the eldest of 10 children, Davis first learned boxing from his father. After being inspired by a movie about Muhammad Ali, Davis embarked on his amateur career. He won the 1976 Olympic gold medal one week after his mother died. He was also awarded the Val Barker Trophy at the Olympics, beating out such boxers as Sugar Ray Leonard, Michael Spinks and Leon Spinks.
He turned professional after the Olympics and went on to compile a professional record of 36–6–1 with 14 knockouts. He retired in 1996. After retirement he became a trainer. Eventually he worked as boxing director at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, where he trained both amateur and professional boxers and MMA fighters. He was also a motivational speaker and a musician.
As an amateur, Davis was trained by his father, a former boxer. He had an outstanding amateur career. In 1976, Davis won the Olympic gold medal in the lightweight division in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
His Olympic victory came just one week after his mother died of a heart attack.
Davis had an amateur record of 125–5.
Amateur accomplishments include:
- 1973 National AAU Champion (125 lb)
- Defeated Leroy Veasley of Detroit in the final
- 1974 World Championships (125 lbs) in Havana, Cuba
- 1976 National AAU Champion (132 lbs)
- Defeated Thomas Hearns on points.
- 1976 Olympic Trials
- Defeated Aaron Pryor to qualify at 132 pounds
- 1976 Summer Olympics – Gold Medal (132 lbs) and Val Barker Award winner for Most Outstanding Boxer of the Games
Davis turned professional in 1977. After winning his first thirteen fights, he challenged Jim Watt for the WBC lightweight title in 1980. Watt won by a fifteen-round unanimous decision. In 1984, with a record of 26–1, Davis fought Edwin Rosario for the WBC lightweight title. Rosario retained his title with a twelve-round split decision. His final attempt to win a world title came in 1988. Davis was stunningly knocked out in the first round by IBF junior welterweight champion Buddy McGirt. He retired after the fight. In 1994, Davis launched a comeback as a middleweight. He retired for good after losing by second-round knockout to Dana Rosenblatt on April 13, 1996.
He finished with a professional record of 36–6–1 with 14 KO's.
In July 2009, Glen Cove honored Davis by naming a street after him. The Mayor also proclaimed July 10 as Howard Davis Day in honor of both father and son.
Davis served as a boxing trainer to MMA fighters, including Chuck Liddell and fighters from American Top Team. He also worked as a sports commentator, a public speaker, and a promoter for Fight Time Promotions. Davis was a boxing coach/trainer for Chuck Liddell on The Ultimate Fighter 11. Davis' wife Karla Guadamuz-Davis served as his Publicist and Business Manager.
- "Howard Davis Jr.: Boxing Let's Talk" Archived 2017-02-27 at the Wayback Machine
- "Olympic Champ Howard Davis Jr. is honored in Hometown of Glen Cove, NY"
- ""The Ultimate Fighter 11" debut". mmajunkie.com. Archived from the original on 2010-03-06. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
- Wong, Nick. (2016). "Boxing Gold Medalist and MMA Coach Howard Davis Jr. Dies at Age 59". Vice Sports. Retrieved 6 Feb. 2019.
- "Boxing great Howard Davis Jr. calls cancer battle 'fight time'". The Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
- "Howard Davis, most outstanding boxer at 1976 Olympics, dead at 59". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
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