Meet Donnie Davis, The Boxing Wizard of Oz
By Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media Correspondent
Here is a true boxing story you will absolutely love.
First, let me state whenever I cover a boxing card, I love to be on my feet, writing and taking pictures, meeting and greeting people, circulating and keeping my eyes open for the interesting people who make boxing great and keep it great. It makes me disgusted to see reporters who sit on press row staring blanking into outer space, like propped up mummies, some of them holding so-called titles in publications and organizations, but to me they signify nothing. The true sports writer has to go out and get the story. I absolutely love it when I find something great amidst the boxing masses in an otherwise uneventful midweek boxing card which sets off alarm bells in my mind which say to me-this is a unique and amazing story which has to be told.
Unlikely and obscure boxing venues are of great interest. In a world of changing boxing faces, the fighters of yesterday have become the matchmakers of today. Sometimes, they even do both. In the heartland of America, where boxers are NOT on TV, in the somewhat obscure state of Kansas, a new face has emerged the Kansas superstar in boxing. Since I had never met anybody from Kansas before this past Saturday night at the Boxing card at BB King Blues Club and Grill, I felt obliged to tell the boxing world about this cool dude I met from the Kansas boxing scene.
You heard me right………………..Kansas! There is indeed a boxing scene in Kansas.
Meet Donnie Davis, who I call ‘The Boxing Wizard of Oz’, the boxing king of the Kansas canvas! When I met Donnie at ringside, he was working the corner of several of the ‘opponents’ on the nine bout card. Of course, we all know any number of the provided ‘opponents’ did not make it out of the first round. So I supposed Donnie enjoys the plane trip and being a real people person. I guess for many of the so-called corner people of the opponents, there is not always the joy of actually working the corner when your ‘boy’ gets knocked out in the first round.
When Donnie Davis told me he had not only risen to be the superstar matchmaker of the State of Kansas (which is fact he is), he also saves shows by providing himself as the ‘opponent’ to be knocked out on occasion as well! I had to put down during the final DiBella Entertainment bout of the evening, and photograph and interview the fascinating Mr. Davis, who has a story to tell you simply have to hear.
Real Combat Media: “Donnie Davis of Kansas, how long have you been in boxing?”
Donnie Davis: “26 years. I boxed but got thrown to the wolves too early. I took three fights on my own last year at age 44 to save shows.”
Real Combat Media: “Donnie, you are currently ranked 673 out of 962 cruiserweights in the world by Boxrec. Your career record is 8-26, with 6 knockouts. You’ve been knocked out 20 times since 1998, including getting kayoed in the first round last week in Waterloo, Iowa by unbeaten prospect Dimar Ortiz. You’ve lost ten bouts in a row since 2006. You have been knocked out by such contenders as Allan Green and Rudy Markussen. Are you typical of all Kansas fighters?”
Donnie Davis: “I fought in six boxing divisions, from junior middleweight to heavyweight. True, I have a bad record, but boxing needs opponents. I had five heavyweight fights. I like traveling, seeing new places, and meeting new people.”
Real Combat Media: “Where are fights held in Kansas?”
Donnie Davis: “Usually in my hometown of Tokeka, Kansas. I have also done some shows in Minnesota. I do not do club show matchmaking because I have been burnt big time, straight up (as in not getting paid for his boxing matchmaking services).”
Real Combat Media: “Are there any famous fighters from Kansas?”
Donnie Davis: “Yes there are. Heavyweight Damon Reed, who is 46-17. Reed fought Herbie Hyde for the WBO Heavyweight title in 1998, Vincenzo Cantatore in Italy for the WBU Super Cruiserweight title in 1999, Sebastiaaan Rothmann in Suth Africa for the WBU Cruiserweight title in 2000, and later fought such big names as James Toney, Hasim Rahman, Monte Barrett and Deontay Wilder. He went the 12 round distance with Rothmann. The rest knocked Damon Reed out.”
Donnie Davis: “Also from Kansas is boxer Raul Munoz, known as ‘El Toro’, who is 26-16-1. Munoz has fought such names as Mike Jones, Jermaine Taylor, Alfonzo Gomez, Dmitry Salita, Enrique Ornelas, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Sam Soliman, Joel Casamayor, Yori Boy Campas, Hector Macho Camacho, and Austin Trout. Neither Reed nor Davis won any of these big fights. Munoz came to Kansas from Baja California Mexico. I also knew Ronnie Cisneros really well in our area of the Midwest. Ring Magazine called Ronnie the guardian of the gang, because if you got past Ronnie you won a world championship.”
Real Combat Media: “Are Kansas fighters just opponents?”
Donnie Davis: “Pretty much.”
Real Combat Media: “Donnie, where is Kansas do you currently reside?”
Donnie Davis: “I live in Topeka, but I have got fighters I arrange fights for from all over Mexico, the United States, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Russia, Uzbekistan, all over the world I have done fights in Canada, WBO and WBC and NABF championship bouts as well, and I have only been a matchmaker for two years! The patches on my jacket represent the many countries and the fighters in them who have used my services since I started matchmaking professional boxing. I love traveling and meeting people.”
Real Combat Media: “Are there any drawbacks to being a boxing matchmaker?”
Donnie Davis: “I got burnt a lot. Guys who lied to me, who promised me money, who go behind my back, who don’t pay me, get deleted from my cell phone. If that’s all it costs me to get rid of them, bye-bye.”
Real Combat Media: “Donnie, how does a matchmaker treat fighters?”
Donnie Davis: “I would never rob a fighter. I got robbed for 25 years as a fighter. If a promoter says ten thousand dollars for a fighter, I give the kid ten thousand dollars.”
Real Combat Media: “Is boxing a brutal sport for matchmaking?”
Donnie Davis: “Boxing is a brutal game. There’s brutal match makers out there, ruining boxing and ruining fighters, saying ten thousand dollars and giving them five thousand dollars. I don’t ever do that. Then tell me ten thousand dollars, I try to get the fighters twelve thousand dollars. Every fighter I work with, once they commit to a fight, I always look after that fighter’s best interests.”
The ring record of ‘the matchmaker boxer’ Donnie Davis from Boxrec is online at
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