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Janaya 'Jai' Davis by Bernard Miller
© Copyrighted photo taken by Bernard Miller


Middleweight Janaya "Jai" Davis was born on April 11, 1973. Originally from Chicago, she began boxing in 2002 with Johnny Gant in Atlanta, Georgia where she is now a firefighter.

As an amateur boxer she compiled a 10-1 (4 KO) record and was ranked #1 in the country at 165 lbs by USA Boxing.

On July 13-14, 2002 at the Augusta State University Athletic Complex, Janaya defeated Katie Thorton in the 165-lb female division of the Georgia Games.

On August 2, 2002 in the 165-lb division final at the USA Boxing National Championships in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Janaya stopped Kimico Pugh of USMC Camp Lejeune, North Carolina at 1:12 in the first round (RSC-1) to win the national title. She had previously defeated Lisa Stecki of Wilwaukee, Wisconsin by a 20-10 score in the semifinal on August 1 and had stopped Jenna Johlin of Helena, Ohio in the third round in her preliminary bout on July 30.

On August 24, 2002 in the 165-lb Open Division Finals at the US National Golden Gloves in Chicago, Illinois, Janaya defeated Lisa Stecki of Wisconsin to win the division. She had again stopped Kimico Pugh, this time in the second round, in the semifinal.

On October 25, 2002 representing the USA at the AIBA World Women’s Senior Boxing Championships in Antalya, Turkey, Janaya lost her quarterfinal bout in the 165-lb/75 kg division to Bettina Karlsen of Denmark. This was her only defeat as an amateur boxer.

Janaya vs. Mariem Brakache in her pro debut
Janaya vs. Mariem Brakache in her pro debut
© Copyrighted photo taken by Bernard Miller

Janaya turned pro in 2003 and made her debut on April 18, 2003 at the Coca-Cola Roxy Theater in Atlanta, Georgia.  She weighed in at 158 lbs and won a four-round unanimous (40-36 on all three cards) over Mariem Punchenella Brakache (155 lbs). Brakache is a native of Morocco who had competed in kickboxing events in Holland before immigrating to the United States. Davis used her reach and jab to good effect, tattooing her opponent's face, while Brakache kept up the pressure throughout a highly competitive match-up. (See the WBAN fight report by Marc DeLamater and more photos by Bernard Miller).

On June 20, 2003 at the Coca-Cola Roxy Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, Janaya (163 lbs) won by a TKO over debut fighter Rhonda Rooker (176 lbs) of Tepulo, Mississippi at 0:26 of the first round. Rooker's abrupt retirement caused her to forfeit her purse, with other potential sanctions to be considered in a hearing before the Georgia Boxing Commission. Among the estimated attendance of 1000 were pro boxers Nina Ahlin and Samantha Browning.

Janaya vs. Trini Guzman in October 2003
© Copyrighted photo taken by Bernard Miller

On October 24, 2003 at the Tabernacle Concert Hall in Atlanta, Georgia, Janaya (161 lbs) defeated a game Trini Guzmán (158 lbs) of Houston, Texas by a four-round unanimous (40-36) decision.  Janaya's height, strength and speed were all keys to her win over a very game Guzman, who was making her pro debut. Also in attendance were former national amateur champ Natalie Brown and pro straw-weight contender Nina Ahlin.

Janaya vs. Elizabeth Kerin in 2004
© copyrighted photo  by J & P Photography

On September 24, 2004 at Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, Janaya defeated Elizabeth Kerin of Chicago by a four-round unanimous (40-36,40-36,39-37) decision in a super middleweight bout. (For more  fight photos by J & P Photography, see Photo Gallery #212 on the WBAN Member Site). Janaya improved to 4-0 (1 KO) with the win while Elizabeth Kerin fell to 3-1-1 (3 KO).

Janaya's amateur experience and fast start as a pro boxer have made it tough for her to find opponents.  She told WBAN in mid-2004 "I am disappointed with women's boxing and its lack of activity for deserving boxers. I have not been able to get a fight in the last 5 months because of my reputation as a tough fighter. The women on top won't take on any worthy opponents so that they can remain on top. I am always in shape and ready for a bout anywhere."

Janaya's toughest challenge was however about to appear on her own doorstep, in 2004 world 176-lb Golden Gloves champion Ijeoma Egbunine from Marietta, Georgia.

On December 3, 2004 at Earthlink Live in Atlanta, Janaya lost a four-round unanimous decision to Egbunine, who was making her ro debut in a bout where Janaya stated that she had been "set up" to lose by the promoters.

On February 18, 2005 at Earthlink Live in Atlanta, Janaya (166 lbs) was TKO'd in the second round of a scheduled four-round rematch with Ijeoma Egbunine (168 lbs). Egubine had promised to be more aggressive in this rematch and came out blazing in the first round. Davis was able to land some clean shots, but Egbunine appeared to be the more  powerful fighter. The second became a pitched battle and at 0:30 into the round Egbunine landed an overhand right that sent Davis to the canvas. Davis struggled to get to her feet, but fell to the canvas again, prompting the referee to stop the fight.  Davis was now 4-2 (1 KO), Egbunine 2-0 (1 KO).

Conjestina Achieng vs. Janaya Davis
© Copyrighted photo courtesy JabJab Promotions

Janaya returned to the ring on December 2, 2006 at the Moi International Sport Center in Nairobi, Kenya. She weighed in at 164¼ lbs and won a six-round (60-58,58-56,59-55) unanimous decision over local favorite Conjestina Achieng (154¼ lbs) who fell to 9-3-3 (4 KO's) with her second home loss to a visiting American. Achieng was slated to fight Texan Valerie Mahfood until a few days before the fight, but Mahfood withdrew.

On January 19, 2007 at Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia, Janaya (162 lbs) won by a TKO over Annette Joyner (165 bs) of Wilson, North Carolina, who fell to 0-4.

On January 26, 2008 at the Venetian in Macao, China, Janaya lost a ten-round unanimous decision to Ya Nan Wang of Shanghai, China for the WIBA and vacant WBC Middleweight world titles. Davis fell to 6-2 (2 KO's) while Wang improved to 5-0.

Janaya can be reached at Jaidavi1@yahoo.com or through Johnny Gant at Atlanta Art Of Boxing in Atlanta, Georgia, (404)-870-8444.

To check out fight reports, complete up-to-date boxing records, with huge digital photos you can go to the WBAN Records Member Site

Page last updated: Sunday, 16 December 2012


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