Exploring the boxing world can reward you with finding interesting characters from all walks of life. I decided to push that a little further in an online venture across the pond into the world of America’s East Coast small hall circuit, and I wasn’t disappointed one bit. I found six foot welterweight Raheem Davis, who is set to make his professional debut on the 29th October in Lowell Memorial Auditorium, Massachusetts. I wanted to know a little more about his journey, goals and his life; he is an intriguing man, and I ended up respecting a stand up guy and humble fighter.

Raheem revealed to me he grew up in Rhode Island and was introduced to boxing through his cousin Jonathan. But prior to that, he practiced martial arts as his mother was a martial artist. Humorously, Raheem said “I started watching Rocky and I got in tune, I actually thought I was Rocky, not even Apollo, crazy right?”. His cousin brought him to the Boys and Girls club in Woonsocket where he met his first boxing coach, Anthony Bernier, at around the age of 14 or 15 and he has been boxing on and off since.

As Raheem got older he told me he was involved in the streets, as it might be easy to for any young kid who lived in a urban area. He was going back and forth to jail at the age of 18 before things took a more serious turn which changed his thought process drastically. Raheem had to go to trial for an attempted murder charge, which he won to prove his innocence- but this made him ask the question of himself, “what am I going to do for myself? I need a career.”.

Raheem had to dig deep at this point in his life. It was a turning point of realisation. Down the line from this, he met a woman called Kimberly, who is the mother of his son Kahmani. “He’s 5 years old, he’ll be 6 in October”. That was the turning point. Raheem says strongly, “that’s right when I knew then and there, it’s time to turn up… and boxing was it”. His motivation tied in with love for his son.

Another significant figure in Raheem’s life is his current coach, Brian Johnson. Raheem described Brian as his “Pops” and that he plays a huge part within his life, “we’ve built a bond like no other, we’re actually father and son, not just a coach and his fighter”. Brian has trained him since 2017 and it was a clear to me that their relationship  means a lot to Raheem.

It is obvious that one of the main focuses in Raheem’s life is his family and close friends. His father is British West Indian and his mother is from Bridgeport Connecticut. I asked, “who is your inspiration?”  to which Raheem replied, “an inspirational hero or character would be my mother, she played both parts, and she fights like I fight”. Alongside this was his cousin Jonathon as he taught Raheem how to box back in the day. His son Kahmani is also spoken about passionately.
With his Pro debut coming on October 29th I asked how things are going so far in the build up to the occasion. “I’m feeling good for 10 weeks out, I have enough time to fix anything that needs to be fixed, or adjust things”. A potential link up in camp with world champion Demitrius Andrade could also be a possibility. “If I’m in camp and he’s around, that’s going to influence me to step-up my game to the next level. I’m excited.” Andrade is also from the Rhode Island area.

Raheem is a big and tall guy for 147lbs, which prompted him to say with a smile, a “Tommy Hearns kind of fella… I can see myself going from 147 to 154 within due time as my career grows”. 

Raheem says his favourite current fighter is “Jaron Ennis, I like him a lot. He’s orthodox and switches to southpaw. I’m a southpaw and I can switch to orthodox, I wouldn’t say any similarities but I love his style”. “Everyone loves Muhammed Ali, I love him as an old head. I like Michael Nunn, James Toney… actual fighters!”

This is just the start for Raheem, but It’s crystal clear to me through the determination in his voice and eagerness to get in the ring that it’s the start of something big. Southpaw Jab will follow his journey throughout.


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