George Davey Interview
George Davey Interview: The young Yokshire boxer is being tipped as the next big thing. Promoted by Frank Warren, trained by Henry Wharton, and with skills in abundance, he certainly seems to have a bright future ahead of him. Read his exclusive interview with BoxBets here.
BoxBets: How did you first become involved with boxing, and who were the boxers that inspired you during your childhood & teenage years?
George: I became involved mostly because of my dad, he used to box back in his youth and was quite good actually.
He took me to the gym when I was 11 – I roughly spent a summer boxing then stopped. Then, a couple of years later when I was 14, all of a sudden I really wanted to be a boxer (bit strange I know haha) and here I am now!
Sugar ray Leonard is my all time favourite, but Manny Pacquiao and Roy Jones Jr also inspired me.
Before turning professional, you picked up a string of amateur titles as well as winning a couple of box cups. Talk us through your amateur career and what are the moments you are most proud of?
I had 50 amateur fights and won 38 of them. The moments I’m most proud of are winning the Yorkshire [Elite Title] belt outright – that meant a lot to me. I had all my family there from Lanzarote watching, so I had to put on a show!
Then winning the Eindhoven Box Cup (Olympic qualifying event) gold medal. I boxed the home favourite in the first bout. He was the Dutch number 1 and broke my jaw in the second round, but I still out-boxed him and got the Unanimous Decision. There’s so many proud moments, but the one that does come to mind is also winning the Haringey Box Cup for the first time – that was awesome!
You are being trained by Henry Wharton at his gym in York, and the pair of you have really gelled as a boxer and coach. What makes Henry such a great trainer?
What makes Henry great is all the knowledge he has – its remarkable! And the fact that he was British, Commonwealth, European champion and world title challenger says a lot. His pad-work is for me the best, our styles really suit each other.
Speaking of Henry, he highly recommended you to Frank Warren as a hot prospect. Warren then went on to sign you to his Queensberry Promotions. How did you feel signing with one of the biggest names in the industry right at the start of your career?
Signing with Frank Warren was an exciting experience, it’s been my childhood dream. That and winning a world title.
You made your debut in October of last year on the Josh Warrington vs Sofiane Takoucht under-card, at the Leeds Direct Arena, live on BT Sport. Being a Yorkshire lad, that was quite a debut event! How did you feel in the build up to the fight and on the night itself?
I felt excited and a bit nervous in the build up. It was all new to me, so I didn’t know what to expect. The night of the fight I felt nervous walking out with 500 friends and all my family there, the atmosphere was something else! But as soon as I got in the ring, I felt great and the nerves passed.
You won your debut against Zygimantas Butkevicius and then quickly followed that up with a win over Dale Arrowsmith. On the face of it, both were great performances as you won every round of both fights, but how did you rate yourself in those bouts? Did everything go according to plan?
Me and Henry sat down and re-watched the fight after, and we were happy with it. With the bout being on such a big card, we were chuffed with the performance because the crowd, atmosphere, the build up etc. all could have got to me.
For my second fight, I felt a lot more relaxed in there. Having such a big debut, I feel like I can be more at ease and confident with my future fights. Henry and I think I boxed really well in that one.
If you could face any opponent (pound-for-pound), from any era in boxing history, who would it be and what would your tactics be to secure victory?
If I had to box anyone P4P, it’d most likely be sugar Ray Leonard, my idol. I tried to copy him a lot growing up. My tactics would be go in there and fight on instinct – which is what I usually do.
Last question for you: A prime Muhammad Ali versus a prime Mike Tyson – who wins and why?
That’s a tough one, as they were both remarkable fighters! Ali was an amazing mover, but something’s telling me Tyson because of his raw power and aggression.