For those of you who don’t know, let me introduce you to Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis. He is a tough Philly middleweight who punches hard, has heart, is confident in his abilities and usually satisfies the crowd with a knockout victory. It has been a little while since we last saw him in a sanctioned bout but Da Truth assures everyone that he hasn’t just been sitting around on the couch. Instead, he has been staying busy working out hard at Shuler’s gym with some of the best fighters in the city and that’s why he has been ducked by alot of fighters in the same weight class. Jamaal is 7 – 1 with 6ko’s and is trained by the only female trainer in Philly, Sharron Baker. He recently took some time to let us know what he is about and the battles he fights inside and outside of the ring.
Philly Keith Sports: It’s been a little while since we have seen you in the ring, where have you been?
Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis: The only reason you haven’t seen me in the ring is because they keep turning me down for fights. The problem is that I am a workhorse. I’m good at what I do, I train hard and I’m in the gym constantly. I think they spy on me or they hear all that so that makes it hard to get me fights.
PK: What gym do you train out of?
JD: I fight out of Shuler’s, I’m a soldier. From the first time I went down there I fell in love with the gym. Buster always treated me good. He takes real good care of us, gets us the right fights. I train with some of the best fighters in the city. I get a chance to work with some experienced fighters. I’m always in and out of somebody’s training camp; I think that’s where some of the problems come in because I’m always working with people on a higher level. I’m always scheduled to fight, half the city don’t know this. Every month it’s a different promoter saying they want me on their card. Damon Feldman wanted me on his card, that never goes through. I was gonna fight on a Power Productions card a little while back but ended up going to help Prince Badi get ready for the Roy Jones fight. He took me off the card cause I didn’t sell enough tickets. My problem in Philly is selling tickets.
PK:Yeah, what’s up with that? I have been hearing lot of that lately; promoters making fighters sell their own tickets just to fight. I think that’s bullshit.
JD:It is bullshit, here is what they are doing. They are putting on corny fighters. Half the Philadelphia fighters are alright. I’m cool with a lot of them and a lot of us are good. A lot of them sign with different labels and such too. But Philly doesn’t have a lot of money to back fighters so we gotta sell the tickets in order to fight on the cards. That’s why you see the Max Alexander’s on a card, they have a good fan base.
PK:Who were some of the boxing people who helped you along the way?
JD:I was born here in Philly but I had left and went to Pittsburgh, out there with Eddie Chambers and them for the longest. Eddie Sr. is like a father to me. He started off training and managing me but I branched off after my first fight. We still talk and are cool but I got with Sharron Baker who happens to be the only female trainer Philly. We are down at Shulers now, Sharron is like the head coach. I work with Buster (Percy Custas) a lot, Brother Naseem Richardson. I am surrounded by all the information, it’s about getting the fights now.
PK:Have there been any talks of fights lately?
JD:They called us about a fight with a kid named Andy Lee, who is a hot prospect with Emmanuel Stewart but took it back. Then they called again and we turned it down because my weight was just a little high and my team didn’t want me to force myself to get down in weight. I have a feeling that fight is gonna come back around one more time we will see what happens. That win could open up a whole lot of doors.
The other day they brought in a fight against Joe Christy. They wanted us to fight at a catch weight of 154. We said no it’s gonna be at 160. His last three fights were at 160, two of those guys he fought I knocked out. So now he wants to up the rounds too and make it 8 and we said fine, let’s go 8 rounds. Now between the rounds and the money, they turned us down. Now here I am again with Friday coming up with no opponent. Without a major label I’m stuck right now, I’m paused because I can’t get noone to fight me and I think its making me look bad. They say “yeah Jamaal is having a long layoff” like I go into this hole or something. But that’s not the case at all.
PK:I saw your last couple of fights and I was impressed. Talk about your last few fights.
JD:Well I knocked my last two opponents out and went the distance with Vance Garvey to see what it was like to go the whole way. I actually got cursed out about that but Vance Garvey is good because of his experience. A guy like him can pull out a lot of tricks on a guy like me coming up. I didn’t let him pull out any tricks. I knew him from working in the gym and knew that he doesn’t like it to the body. So in the fight I didn’t concentrate on knocking him out, I concentrated on the body and beating the hell out of him. But I caught a lot of hell for it cause I wanted to go the distance in front of the crowd and my trainer said if you can stop him then stop him.
PK:In your words, when a guy steps in against you, what is he in store for?
JD:He is in store for an ass whoopin’. One of the fastest ass whoopins he can receive and one of the most brutal ass whoopin’s he can take. I feel like if you get in the ring with me you gotta lot of heart but you are gonna have to fight. I have been told that I punch hard, I don’t really believe it but then again lookin at these guys faces after I fight them I can believe it a smidgen. I’m not really one of these guys to say I’m gonna do this or knock him out. If the knockout comes, it comes. I’m not gonna sit there and brawl if I don’t have to cause I can outbox you too.
PK:How did you get into boxing?
JD:Well you know how you always wanted to be one of the tough guys in your neighborhood, fit in with the local groups or gangs or whatever. I was one of those guys who wanted to fit in where I was at. I grew up in South Philly on 21st and Federal, I ran with the 21st street squad cause that was the block I was on. As I got older I got shipped to West Philly. I used to hookie school, or go late, run around with my brother and them acting stupid. My mom saw the trouble I was getting into and sent me to Virginia to stay with my aunt. I was out there going to school, getting good grades but I got into a fight on the school bus. This fight on the bus sparked off everything because it got me in a whole lot of trouble that I wasn’t prepared for. I wanted the street name but I wasn’t prepared for the outcome it gave me. What it gave me was 5 years of probation, house arrest until I was 21, community service. I couldn’t even go outside without my aunt. If I came back to Philly I had to be in before dark. Couldn’t go out until my mom got off of work. And I was only 15 when this happened, it hit me real heavy. So my dad before he passed away told me if I was going to fight, I might as well get paid for it. He always told me if I start something I might as well stick with it and be happy. That’s when boxing came along and I stayed with it. From there all the fights I thought I wanted to get into in the streets faded off. Boxing became an escape route, that’s why I train as hard as I do. If I didn’t take it as serious as I do I wouldn’t be as good as I am andit wouldn’t be this hard to get me fights.
PK:Is there anyone out there who you want to fight?
JD:I want to fight any and everybody. There is one thing I can say, I feel like I am the best because I know how I train. At 160 lbs here in Philly, the city is mines. I don’t think im gonna get fights here in Philly especially at 160. But that’s cool, there’s really no names for me to fight in Philly anyway. My goals are bigger than Philadelphia. My goals are making this money and getting out the game with my senses. Any and everybody at 160 who wants to fight, all they have to do it send over the contract with more than 2 zero’s on it.
PK:Are there any fighters out there who you like to watch or are impressed with?
JD:For real the people I like the best are the ones in my camp. People I can really learn from. Steve Cunningham, Rock Allen, Bear Richardson, Carl Dargan, Mike Dargan, I am always sparring with them, always in camp with Yusaf Mack. The best thing is everyone is treated the same. No assholes in this stable. When I was coming up I was with Rasheem Brown, Willie Gibbs everyone down at Marian Anderson. Rasheem is like an older brother to me. When we first met we were ready to fight our ass off but soon after we became real cool. These are the people who see not only how I train in the gym but what I go through outside the gym and ring. It’s crazy.
PK: Who or what motivates you to work so hard?
JD: My squad is complete, if there is anyone who motivates me it is my fiancée and my mom. Seeing my fiancée at the age she is. She will be 25 in a couple weeks but she was diagnosed early with third stage breast cancer. We have two healthy kids, but they make it possible. The person who is mainly responsible for me being able to prepare, get ready for my fights properly is Patra Nill who is my fiancées mom. I have a well groomed environment here. I’m not out at the club partying or getting drunk or any of that. I’m about my business, I train hard I fight even harder.
PK:Anything you want to add before we close this up?
JD:I want to add this is 2007; we are doing a wedding in October which is breast cancer month which we strongly support. I feel like I am one of the best in the city at 160. Anybody who wants it can come get it. I saw that you wrote a fight with me and Dave Peterson would be good, he is far from my level. Big Poppa Tommy Spiller who you also suggested, not on my level. Anybody from 156 to 168, the city is mines. Anyone who thinks otherwise, you know where to find me. If you want it come get it because I got enough for everybody. And that’s nothing but Da Truth.
Thanks for your time Jamaal. I hope they find someone for you this Friday!
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