Ohara Davies has made a name for himself in the U.K. for being an outspoken provocateur, but his latest antics backfired in a major way when he made comments perceived to be disrespectful to victims of the Hillsborough tragedy. The fallout saw Davies pulled out of his scheduled February 3rd fight by Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn as a form of punishment.
Amidst all the fallout from his comments, Davies has since come out to apologize, saying he was ignorant of the implications of his comments, and now tells Sky Sports he's really not the bad guy you might think he is. Davies mentions he's felt compelled to be controversial because that's what fans have come to expect of him since that's how he's marketed himself. But as of late it has all been an act.
“The last time I enjoyed [the act] was before the Mathews fight. Before the Josh Taylor fight I didn’t feel like acting arrogant, and people noticed how I didn’t say much. I felt like it wasn’t me anymore. That was a phase that I wanted to leave behind but I felt like I had to keep up my image.
“People change every day. I came to a point in my life, and my boxing career, where I had changed but I couldn’t show that change because everyone expected me to act in a certain way,” he said.
Davies continued by saying that from now on he's going to be himself — his true self — and whether or not you like it, it will at least be authentic.
“People have tried to paint me as a bad guy but I’m not.”
Can Davies change his brash image after building his whole brand around it? That might prove difficult. It will at least take some time, but people should be allowed to evolve and mature — it's only natural. But Davies cultivated this image for himself, so the onus is on him to entertain fans without crossing the line which cost him a payday. That might be a fine line for him to walk, but he says he's ready to reel it in.