Opportunity rings: Reno’s Davis boxes today on ESPN

Reno’s Kenny Davis fights tonight on ESPN.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Be ready. That’s good advice for people in any line of work – especially boxers nowadays.

Reno’s Kenny Davis Jr. was offered a bout seven days ago and tonight he will step into the ring in MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. There won’t be fans in the stands, but there will be a worldwide television audience.

Davis, who has won his last two fights and has a 2-2-1 record, will face lightweight Eduardo Sanchez, 2-2, from Corcoran, California. It will be the first match on the ESPN card that starts at 5 p.m.

“I am going to box and counterpunch and see what mistakes he makes and what opens up,” Davis said. “I will be honest with you. He looks soft in taking punches (to the belly). I will go to the body.”

Sanchez won his last fight when he decisioned Michael Gaxiola on Oct. 19 in Bakersfield.

Although the combatants have similar professional records, Davis has experience in his corner. The 28-year-old Sanchez started his amateur career when he was 18. Davis boxed neighborhood kids since he was 5 and had his first amateur fight at age 8.

A former running back at Wooster High School, Davis spent an hour on Saturday running 100-yard sprints.

“I’ve been training every day, sparring and helping prepare Diego (Elizondo, a Carson City boxer who recently fought in Las Vegas),” Davis said.

Davis is a “Team Supreme” stablemate of Peter Cortez, a Reno welterweight who lost a fight July 9 at the same MGM venue. Father Ken Davis guides Team Supreme.

“We got this offer 15 minutes before Peter’s fight,” Davis Sr. said. “With this whole Covid situation, for the guys who are ready to go, there are opportunities for them with Top Rank. Those who are not ready will be left behind.”

Davis’ good fortune continued on Wednesday when John Yap failed to make weight for the main even bout with featherweight contender Miguel Marriaga. That bout was scratched and it moved the Davis-Sanchez four-rounder to the first TV bout tonight on ESPN.

The bell rings at 5 p.m., Reno-Tahoe fight fans.

“The gameplan is to outbox (Sanchez),” Davis Sr. said. “If he sticks to that plan, it will be an easy night for Kenny. If it turns into a slugfest, it will be a tougher fight than it needs to be.”

The main event features lightweights Felix Verdejo (26-1, 16 KOs) vs. Will Madera (15-0-3, 8 KOs).

-Tim Parsons

Related story: Family connection: Kenny Davis Jr. turns corner of life.

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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