It’s time to take a look at a fight that’s not yet in the boxing calendar but has been talked about very frequently by fans, promoters, and fighters alike. The two men involved have shown a genuine disdain for one another, regularly trading insults over social media and in person. That grudge match being Anthony Fowler v Ohara Davies.
Exactly when this bad blood first grew between Ohara and Fowler we’re not really sure. Fowler has spoken openly about Ohara mocking him on twitter following his loss to Scott Fitzgerald. Prior to that, Fowler seems to have been paying Ohara little real attention. Which makes sense, with Fowler fighting at Super-Welterweight and Ohara fighting at Light-Welterweight, there should be little reason for the men to be focusing on each other at all right now.
Ohara Davies, however, had a bone to pick with Fowler whether he knew it or not. Ohara said, “I don’t like him, I’ve always thought Anthony Fowler is a prick,” while that might not seem like a good enough reason challenge someone two weight classes up, it seems to be enough for Ohara. Ohara seems to like directing his aggression at people outside of the ring; Fowler joins an esteemed list along with Darren Surtees, Tyrone McKenna, John Taylor, pretty much every Brit he has ever fought, and every person in Liverpool.
Which weight class could they meet at?
Davies is a strong and fast man at 140lbs, but he’d have to come up in weight to fight Fowler. Fowler has said he wouldn’t go below 152lbs if he decided to drop at all. Fowler’s 5′ 11″ frame would never allow him to hit 140lbs. As Ohara is only 5′ 7″, it’s unlikely he’d be able to make it up to 154lbs quickly, and for that weight to be solid muscle mass. So if the fight were to happen it’d most likely be at Super-Welterweight, with Ohara coming in light for the division.
Davies is a very dangerous boxer, he’s as much of a handful in the ring as he is outside of it. He is technically very sound with solid-footwork, excellent range control, and fantastic head movement. He can bob and weave going forward, backward, or standing in place to avoid combos.
He uses his long and accurate jab very effectively, shutting down fighters as they come in or to set up his right straight right. He used his jab beautifully during his fight with Paul Kamanga to keep him from coming in.
While Davies is powerful, he is more dangerous due to his accuracy. He’s adept and feeling out the rhythm and movement of another boxer, and once he has it he’s shown the ability to land various shots through his opponent’s guard. Watch his fight with Tom Farrell to see him do this repeatedly.
He’s also got stunning overhand right, which he throws efficiently just high of the glove. He often sets this up by repeatedly jabbing and throwing a straight right or stepping in to put on the pressure, getting his opponents used to this rhythm. When they throw the jab after he jabs, expecting to catch him coming in, he throws the overhand right to devastating effect. He did this beautifully against Derry Matthews, rocking him in round 3, which led to Matthews losing his legs for the remainder of the fight.
Defensively Ohara is a difficult nut to crack too. He is quick to roll with punches or slip them completely and knows how to conserve his energy while doing so. He has a solid guard and his strong foot positioning allows maneuver around an opponent at close range.
Fowler is another powerful puncher, with venom in both hands. He and Ohara actually both have KO ratios of 69%, showing how similarly their punch-power sits within their respective divisions. Fowler’s power though has all been demonstrated at 154lbs, which Ohara has yet to show.
Fowler has tremendous hand speed, frequently landing combos of 4+ punches and beating his opponents to the jab and straight. Replays of Fowler during his fights often show him throwing in reaction to opponent’s punches, but still landing first. He overwhelms his opponents with varied combos and punch volume, sapping their energy and keeping them covered up.
Fowler also has a reputation for targeting the body, sapping his opponent’s energy, and with it their ability to maneuver effectively. His punch power being what it is, Fowler also has numerous knockdowns purely from body shot combos.
He has dropped people with the lead hook, lead uppercut, right straight, and rear uppercut. To drop someone with a body shot is not an easy thing to do. Fowler has done this numerous times, and each time you can see the sheer agony on his opponent’s face. Watch his fight with Jay Byrne to see a ridiculously vicious lead body hook crumple a man in half and end the fight.
He did the same to Arturs Geikin, Nika Gvajava, and Ryan Toms. Wearing the three men down with body jabs, hooks, and uppercuts. Fowler put each one on the canvas numerous times, gasping for breath, and ultimately ending all three fights with body hooks. In fact, Anthony Fowler dropped Nika Gvajava with a single body jab in one of the rounds. There was no combo build-up, no follow-up shots, he put a pro boxer down with a stiff jab to the body.
The match-up between the two men looks interesting. Skill-wise and style-wise we seem to have a decent bout, both men having KO power, a smart bag of combos, great footwork, cardio, and head movement. If the two come together in the ring it’s unlikely to go the to a decision, with both men looking to dominate the other by out-boxing and out-punching.
What makes this fight most interesting for fans though, is the animosity outside the ring. Neither men, need this fight for their career progression, it actually poses a bit of an inconvenience to both men. But fights based on animosity always promise interesting watching, and this one is no exception.
Eddie Hearn recently spoke to Fowler over facetime asking him about the Ohara fight, he said he’d fight him at 150lbs. Fowler spoke to Chisora recently over Instagram Live about the fight too, Chisora rightly commented that there’s no sense in the fight for Fowler, but Fowler said he’d do it anyway. Whether this goes ahead or not well have to wait and see, and while it’s not one of the most important fights on the horizon in 2020, it might end up being one of the most interesting to watch.
Does this fight get made? Let us know what you think in the comments, as well as who you have coming out on top. To see both men at their best, watch Fowler fight, Theophilus Tetteh, Ryan Toms, and Nika Gvajava. Watch Ohara Davies fight Paul Kamanga, Tom Farrell, and Derry Matthews.