The CBZ Newswire

‘Ice’ Interviews Former Boxer, Lonnie Davis

by on Oct.14, 2014, under Boxing News

By “Iceman” John Scully (AKA “ICE”)

 

 

Lonnie at work this year on one of Midtown New York City's world famous high rise buildings.

Lonnie at work this year on one of Midtown New York City’s world famous high rise building.

 

In the first of what I hope will be many interviews I can bring to boxing fans in the future, I would like to introduce you to a good friend and fighter and former amateur teammate of mine, Mr. Lonnie Davis of New York City.

Lonnie Davis, living in Brooklyn, N.Y., and boxing out of the legendary Times Square A.C. in New York City finished his professional boxing career as a middleweight with a 14-1-4 (3 knockouts) record.

As a decorated amateur boxer in the 1980′s Lonnie qualified for the 1988 U.S. Olympic trials by winning the Eastern U.S Olympic trials 156 pound title that June at Fayetteville, North Carolina.

At the final Olympic trials that July in Concord, California, Lonnie was eliminated from the tournament by National Golden Gloves Champion and future WBA middleweight title challenger Ray McElroy of Long Beach, California.

McElroy lost the following day to eventual champion Roy Jones Jr.

In 1989, Davis captured the very prestigious Daily News New York Golden Gloves 156 pound championship before turning professional for an 18 bout career that spanned from 1989-2000.

Notable bouts as a professional came against the likes of Andrew Council (W 4), Allen Watts (Tech. draw 4), Demetrius Davis (W KO 5, D 6) and former middleweight contender James “Hard Rock” Green (D 8)

Lonnie still resides in New York City and has been a Local 46 Union worker for the past 15 years. Most recently he helped with the construction of the brand new Freedom Tower in Manhattan that went up in place of the World Trade Center towers.

 ICE: Lonnie, in a nutshell, how did you get started boxing??

Lonnie Davis: I got started boxing at the age of 15. My big brother and I were on our way to catch a movie out in the old Times Square. He spotted the Times Square Gym near the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street and for me, that was it, I’ve been hooked ever since.

ICE: When you were very young in the game, who did you idolize in the sport?

Lonnie Davis: As a youngster I idolized guys from the gym like (contenders) Mark McPherson and Troy Darrell, who I always sparred and got beaten up by. There was also another southpaw there by the name of Davis. I totally forget his first name right now, but I know he actually died in the locker room at the gym. I think in the old Kingsway Boxing gym on 40th Street and 8th. Ave. He was a contender. Great fighter.

ICE: What is the best fight you have ever watched, either live or on TV?

Lonnie Davis: My best fight I’ve ever watched. I’d have to say Hagler and Hearns. Straight three rounds of classic old school fighting.

ICE: Who is your favorite fighter of all time and why?

Lonnie Davis: I would have to say Marvin Hagler. I totally loved the way he mixed it up. I love watching him because he was a total package. A pure technical boxer/puncher.

 ICE: What is your favorite moment from your boxing career?

Lonnie Davis: I would have to say when I won the Eastern U.S. Olympic Trials in ’88, nothing could top that — not even when I went overseas representing USA Boxing.

Lonnie, in the center, at the Times Square A.C. in 1989 with legendary champion Emile Griffith, at left, and trainer Willie Dunne.

Lonnie, in the center, at the Times Square A.C. in 1989 with legendary champion Emile Griffith, at left, and trainer Willie Dunne.

 ICE: Tell me about your trainer (or trainers if you’ve had more than one).

Lonnie Davis: Well, Willie Dunne, my adopted father. He took me in and kept me off the streets. Without him and Jimmy Glenn I’m sure I’d be dead or locked up. They actually believed in me, so I owe it all to them.

 ICE: Of all the people you sparred, even among the lesser known boxers, who was the one guy you really didn’t look forward to sparring with??? Maybe they hit really hard, maybe they were just really awkward for you. Who was it?

Lonnie Davis: I can’t even front, it was (former WBA welterweight champion) Aaron “Superman” Davis. We sparred every now and then at the Times Square A.C. and after a while I do think I started figuring him out a bit. But it was great work and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the dude. He had this crazy ass uppercut that used to bust my lip up something crazy!

ICE: When you first started boxing who were the top dogs in your area, the better or more well known boxers. the ones you looked up to?

Lonnie Davis: In the amateurs, I’d say Riddick Bowe and Michael Bent. Pro, that was at the gym, I’d say Davey Moore.

When Davey won the world title he had only had around 12 fights. He was another dude I’d become a fan of. As his career was coming to an end he came to the Times Square A.C. for some sparring. I would loved to have worked with him. I would’ve had a chance to spar with an idol of mine. I’m not sure, but I think I was just coming home from winning the Eastern trials in 1988 when word got out that he was killed trying to stop his car from coming down his driveway. It was such a sad moment, because I actually knew him.

I remember one day in the early 1980′s when I fought in the “Kid Gloves” in New York City. I was pretty young then, of course. That’s first time I saw Bowe. Back then he was 165 pounds and I was only like 130 something. He told me that I was lucky we weren’t the same weight, that he would’ve crushed me (laughing). I didn’t even know who he was then but obviously I figured it out shortly after.

 ICE: Who was your favorite sparring partner (you can name more than one if you want to) and WHY?

Lonnie Davis: I would have to say (1988 National Golden Gloves Champion) Keith Providence and (WBC # 1 contender) Lamar “Kidfire” Parks. They kept a brother sharp. There was no mistakes allowed with them.

ICE: What is or was your absolute favorite part of being a boxer?

Lonnie Davis: My favorite part of being a boxer has to be the respect it taught me and how to become a better man. Everyone is different. This is what I can say I got out of it. It made me into a good father, better man all around and on top of it. It didn’t have to take a beating and was able to leave the game with my senses. I feel I owe a lot to the game. So any fighter whose been dogged by the sport in someway, because of that, I feel it’s my/our duty as ex-fighters and so on to come together as a family (and help).

John Scully is a former contender and current boxing trainer.

John Scully is a former contender and current boxing trainer.

 

“The wait in the dressing room before a professional boxing match -that last hour- could be enough to strip a man who never boxed before of whatever pride, desire and heart he THOUGHT he had” – “Iceman” John Scully, April 2002

 

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