Keyshawn Davis skips Olympics, sets pro boxing debut Feb. 27

Former U.S. Olympic hopeful Keyshawn Davis will make his professional debut on the undercard of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s next bout Feb. 27 in Florida.

Matchroom Boxing announced Davis’ debut date Monday night. His opponent hasn’t been selected.

Davis is turning pro instead of waiting for the chance to fight for an Olympic medal later this year in Tokyo, where the lightweight likely would have been the most likely candidate to end a 17-year gold medal drought for the U.S. men’s team.

Davis initially vowed to wait at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but changed his mind in recent months as the Olympics’ future grew more tenuous. Olympic organizers have vowed the games will go on despite mounting concerns about safety.

Davis who will turn 22 the day after his pro debut, is a former Golden Gloves champion and a World Championships silver medalist. He will fight at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens before Alvarez’s mandatory title defense against Avni Yildirim.

“Keyshawn is one of the hottest young fighters in the States and is bound to be a big hit in the pro ranks,” Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn said.

USA Boxing formally removed Davis from the Olympic qualification team last week, saying he had violated selection procedures. Bay Area fighter Charlie Sheehy will take Davis’ place at 63 kg (139 pounds) in an attempt to qualify for Tokyo later this year.

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