Reacting to Warriors’ Boxing’s recent announcement of a fight for the vacant IBF cruiser title between Dale Brown and O’Neil Bell, the camp for former titlist Kelvin “Concrete” Davis says they’re upset with the overall situation and specifically with Bell. Davis was set to defend his title against Bell last February, but didn’t because of a contractual disagreement with his co-promoter, Don King Productions (along with Duva Boxing). The IBF vacated his title on February 9. “We had a hearing in Las Vegas with the IBF, pleading with them to reinstate Davis or put him in a position to fight Bell for the vacant title,” explained Dino Duva of Duva Boxing.
“The reasoning was that Davis innocently received horrible misrepresentation and advice from his former attorneys. The IBF agreed that he received bad advice and said that they would like to see it get worked out to have Bell, Brown and Davis fight a series to determine the true champion. Unfortunately, Bell, Brown and (their promoters) Warriors have not cooperated.”
According to Team Davis, the problem they have with Bell is that he decided to take what they perceive as the easy way first and leave the former champion Davis out in the cold for what could prove to be a very long time. “O’Neil Bell and his people saw an easier fight with Dale Brown, so they’re going for it. That’s the type of character O’Neil Bell is,” said Davis’ disappointed manager, Kelly Davis.
Duva agrees, “I hate say it because I really don't like criticizing fighters, they are all warriors, but O’Neil Bell is a phoney. He talks a good game; talks trash about Kelvin and says he wants to fight him and prove who is the best, but when presented with a technical loophole for an easy way out, he chose to avoid Kelvin and go after Dale Brown. The truth is he's afraid of Kelvin Davis.”
Bob Goodman of Don King Productions (with whom Davis has since mended fences) says that Bell’s decision to take the Brown fight first is putting a damper on what could have been some dynamite action in the normally dead cruiserweight division. “Kelvin is a hell of a fighter and very exciting guy. Don really likes Kelvin and so do I. I would like to see a Bell vs. Davis fight, with the winner to fight Mormeck and unify all three cruiserweight titles. Mormeck vs. Braithwaite was terrific; can you imagine Mormeck against Kelvin Davis? I shudder to think what that would be like. We hope they’ll (Bell, Warrior’s and the IBF) give us the chance. At least give us the winner.”
And so for now, Davis will be forced to wait and see if the winner of Bell vs. Brown will honor the IBF’s recommendations and take on Davis in their first defense. “I guess they (the IBF) did what they felt they had to do according to their rules, but it makes me sick knowing how hard Kelvin worked to win the title in the ring and then due to some horrible legal advice that bordered on malpractice, it got taken away outside of the ring. Kelvin is one the most exciting fighters in the world and the absolute best cruiserweight. All he can do now is stay focused and remain patient. His time will come soon. Either Bell or Mormeck must fight Kelvin soon, or the whole world will start questioning their "championship titles," said Duva.