Jamaal Davis came to Harrisburg for a new start. After everything he'd been through he was finished with boxing, but the ring has a way of pulling you back in.
"Somehow I found Capital Punishment gym," Davis says. "Ever since then it's like the love of the sport came back so this fight right here means everything. It's long overdue."
Davis is fighting the main event at Proving Grounds III December 9th at the Farm Show in Harrisburg. He'll fight Antowyan Aikens for the WBF North American Super Middleweight title. Big fights are nothing new for Davis. His first round knock out of Terrance Williams at Proving Grounds II in September was his first fight in three years. But he's been on far bigger stages.
Davis pro career began in 2003. He started boxing in Philadelphia after a school bus fight landed him on probation at 15. His family told him, if you're going to fight, you might as well get paid for it.
Davis is 15-12-1 in his career. At his peak he was fighting big names like Peter Quillin and Gabriel Rosado at venues like Madison Square Garden and Atlantic City. Hardship out of the ring has always been Davis' achilles heel.
Early in his pro career he married a woman named Patrilla Davis. When they were dating she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a mastectomy, but the cancer came back. She died soon after they were married.
"I don't think I'm normal anymore, I kept trying to find my peace," Davis says.
After Patrilla's death, Davis remarried, that marriage failed. He had legal problems. Eventually he had enough. He moved to Harrisburg in 2016. It didn't take long for him to find his way into Capital Punishment gym.
"I think when you come in the gym you smell a smell and even though you think you're done there's always something in you that makes you want to try it again," says Jamaal's trainer Wayne Thompson.
Thompson started training Jamaal in May.
"He came up here and I think he felt refreshed," Thompson says.
At 36, Davis doesn't have many shots left. He knows he can't afford to lose. The important thing for him is he's found peace.
"I found peace again, once I found peace, I found my own happiness."
For ticket information check out titansboxing.com