NEWARK, New Jersey – Anthony Yigit gave Keyshawn Davis credit for his ambition.
The experienced southpaw simply thinks the talented lightweight might be a tad too bold for his own good. The 24-year-old Davis will fight for just the eighth time as a professional against Yigit on Saturday night, but the 2021 Olympic silver medalist informed BoxingScene.com recently that he expects to fight for a 135-pound world title before the end of this year.
Yigit intends to destroy Davis’ plan in a 10-round bout ESPN will televise as the opener of a tripleheader from Prudential Center (10 p.m. ET).
“I think he’s moving a little bit too fast,” Yigit told BoxingScene.com before a press conference Thursday at Prudential Center. “With that said, he’s a great fighter. But he doesn’t have enough experience in the pro ring, and I think that’s gonna work to my benefit. From a management standpoint, and I don’t know who’s behind him, but I just believe that maybe, as a manager, this wouldn’t have been the best fight for him. But we are fighters and I believe that we should be able to fight everyone. I’m not criticizing him. I’m criticizing the people behind him.”
Davis (7-0, 5 KOs) is advised by his mom, Wanda, and promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. The intelligent, skillful, strong Norfolk native was willing to fight a highly rated contender after he shut out Mexican veteran Juan Carlos Burgos (35-7-3, 21 KOs) on all three scorecards in his last fight, an eight-rounder December 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Yigit (26-2-1, 10 KOs) isn’t ranked in the top 15 by the IBF, WBA, WBC or WBO. The Swedish southpaw has, however, fought for a junior welterweight world title.
The Stockholm resident has lost only to former IBF 140-pound champ Ivan Baranchyk and ex-WBA interim lightweight champ Rolly Romero, both of whom were undefeated when they beat Yigit. The 31-year-old Yigit believes Davis’ boxing IQ separates him from Baranchyk (20-3, 13 KOs) and Romero (14-1, 12 KOs), yet he is confident that Davis hasn’t faced anyone as good as him in his first seven professional bouts.
“The guys that he has fought, he’s supposed to beat them,” Yigit said. “I see it as I’m the first real test for him. He’s not supposed to beat me. They expect him to [beat me], but I’m not here to lose. I think this is the first time we’re both coming thinking we’re gonna win.”
Yigit has won two bouts by knockout against ordinary opponents since Romero stopped him in the seventh round of their 12-rounder in July 2021 at AT&T Center in San Antonio. He happily accepted an offer to face Davis when Davis’ original opponent, Ghana’s Emmanuel Tagoe (32-2, 15 KOs), withdrew from their fight late in February for undisclosed reasons.
“I’m very thankful for the opportunity because I’ve had difficulties getting fights,” Yigit said. “I’m in that middle ground because I’m a good fighter, but I don’t have titles. Also, I’m a southpaw, so it’s difficult to get the fights when you can get other fighters that are orthodox or might not be as hard a test or might have a title. There’s not much to win and a lot to lose. I can understand that boxing is a business, after all, so respect to him for taking the fight. I’m very thankful for that.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.