Exclusive Interview: Aaron “Superman” Davis Talks About His War With Mark Breland And Other Things

By James Slater: Back in the summer of 1990, bitter welterweight rivals Aaron “Superman” Davis and Mark Breland met in a serious turf war/ grudge-match. The two New York enemies fought an epic battle with the World Boxing Association (WBA) belt at stake. Fans who witnessed the awesome battle will never forget the action that unfolded inside the ring.

Davis of The Bronx won, and his all-action career had seen its finest hour. Davis, though, gave fans many more memorable fights. Finally retiring in 2002 with an exceptional 49-6(31) record - during which Aaron was never stopped - the Bronx warrior more than left his mark on the sport.

Today busy training up-and-comers he hopes will be champions of the future, the 44-year-old was kind enough to speak about his past accomplishments late last night U.K time.

Here is what “Superman” had to say in answer to my questions:

James Slater: It’s great to be able to speak with you, Champ! Can I dive right in and ask you about your epic, great fight with Mark Breland? I have just watched the fight again. What a war from 1990!

Aaron Davis: Oh, yeah, that was a good fight. We were New York Rivals: he was from Brooklyn and I am from The Bronx. That fight should’ve been in New York, but it wound up being in Reno.

J.S: Yeah, why was that? It was such a natural fight for New York.

A.D: Well, one of the big casinos hosted it. I guess they put the better money up; the big money.

J.S: And that fight sure deserved big money! You were all over Breland in the 1st-round - did you think you might stop him that early?

A.D: No. I knew I’d beat him - I’d actually knocked down six previous guys with just my jab, I was really a left hander but I never fought southpaw - but I knew it would be a hard fight against Breland.

J.S: You busted up his nose real bad, and he shut your right eye. Did you worry they might stop the fight due to your eye?

A.D: At one point I was very concerned. In actual fact, they were ready to stop it. But I said, ‘we gotta fight!’ There was no way they could stop such a great fight. I remember the Roberto Duran-Davey Moore fight too - his eye [Moore’s] was far worse and they never stopped that fight. My attitude in the Breland fight was, there’s no tomorrow!

J.S: And the KO you scored with that massive right hand in the 9th-round was incredible.

A.D: Yes, I really stepped in with that shot!

J.S: Was that win your proudest moment?

A.D: Oh yeah! I shut up a lot of people with that win - also winning the title and the punch that ended it. But mainly, I just wanted to win so bad.

J.S: Did you and Mark have respect for one another after the fight?

A.D: Definitely. I always had respect for him. It was people around him, the T.V people, who got him saying the stuff he was saying. I looked up to him, but he said ‘I’ll KO that kid, he’s not on my level,’ meaning me. He just talked too much smack.

J.S: That fight should have won the FOTY award for 1990 in my opinion, but I think Chavez-Taylor won the distinction that year?

A.D: Yeah, our fight was right up there. You’ve gotta have the heart!

J.S: You unfortunately lost the WBA title in your first defence, against Meldrick Taylor. Was he the fastest guy you ever faced?

A.D: (loudly) Nah! The truth is, and no excuses - I hurt my hand two weeks before the fight, in camp. I thought I won that fight, but to be fair, I went home and watched the tape and I thought he won. So no excuses; he beat me.

J.S: You had a great career, with no-one ever stopping you. That takes some doing. Most greats, they have one or two KO defeats on their record, but not you.

A.D: No, I was never even dropped in my career. I went over from a slip once, but that’s all. And I never really took a beating in any fight apart from in the Breland fight, in the 7th,8th and 9throunds before I stopped him.

J.S: You also had great wins over the likes of Simon Brown, Vinny Pazienza, Dennis Milton and Gene Hatcher, to name just a few. But who was the toughest guy you ever met in the ring?

A.D: I’d say Breland, because of the will he had that night. We were both willing to die that night.

J.S: You went up to 160 and 168 and you won your last six fights from 1997 to 2002. Was it hard to walk away as you did in the summer of 2002?

A.D: No. It was an easy decision, because I had cataract problems. I also had endured managerial and promotional problems.

J.S: And if you could do it all over again, what changes would you make?

A.D: Definitely different management. I’d get better management.

J.S: And you train guys today?

A.D: Yes, I have a gym here in the Bronx. I train young guys. I teach them the right way. A lot of young fighters today, they don’t really learn how to fight. It’s about hit and not get hit. It was kind of hard making the transition from fighter to trainer, because I’ve done it all. But I will bring my guys up the correct way.

J.S: It’s been great speaking with you, Champ! For my final question, are you ever expecting a call from The Hall Of Fame?

A.D: Nah! I never did enough. Maybe with better management I could have achieved more and earned my place. But no. Maybe I’ll get a shout out though!

J.S: Thanks so much, Champ. Best wishes with your training.

Article posted on 06.10.2011

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