TOKYO, Japan — Author's note: the above video is on file from July 13, 2021.
From the start of the Tokyo Olympics, Keyshawn Davis has been on a collision course with world champion Andy Cruz, from Cuba.
They will now meet head on in the finals.
Davis, a Norfolk native, advanced to the gold medal round with a win by unanimous decision in the lightweight semifinals over Armenia’s Hovhannes Bachkov. Davis had beaten Bachkov in the semifinals of the World Championship semifinals in 2019.
About his Olympic fight, Davis had this to say, “It was what I experienced last time. The last time I fought him I wasn’t as strong, I wasn’t as quick and fast. When I fought him last time, I remember I exerted all my energy. My chest was burning. I just wanted to go to sleep after the fight. But now I’m more physically strong and stuff like that. I’ve still got my excitement going. I feel good.”
On his emotions after the win Davis added, “I still can’t believe it, man. The first time I exerted myself beating this guy. This time, yes, it was a physical, hard fight, but I felt in control the entire fight. I felt comfortable the entire fight.”
Davis is hoping to become the first American male boxer to win Olympic gold since 2004. He is extremely confident about Sunday's gold medal bout, “I feel like that’s going to be an easy fight, man. I feel like it’s going to be easier for me. Like I said, I’m bigger, stronger, faster, smarter. It showed today. If you would go watch my previous fight with Armenia, it definitely showed today.”
Back to the Cuban Andy Cruz. He beat Davis in the World Championship final in 2019 in Russia and has won all three times the two have faced each other.
In July, he told 13News Now "Everyone's hoping on me to win this gold medal. It makes me feel like a superhero. It makes me feel like I'm doing it for all the fighters in America."
His sister, Shantel, said it means a lot to have Norfolk behind Keyshawn Davis.
"He just wants to make sure he represents not only his country properly, but his city properly," she said. "To see the city coming together and supporting him in return, actually supporting him is definitely a big thing for him. And it's a big thing for us to see that happen as well."
The lightweight final is set for 1:15 a.m. Sunday.