By: Jim Amato
He may be one of the most overlooked champions of the 1990’s. He had style and skill. He won 49 of 55 bouts and a piece of the welterweight title. He knocked out 31 but he himself was never stopped. His name was Aaron Davis and they called him ” Superman “.
Davis was born in the Bronx in 1967 and turned professional in 1986. He reeled off 29 straight victories to establish himself as a top contender for the welterweight title. Along the way he beat the likes of Horace Shufford, Luis Santana, Gene Hatcher and Curtis Summit. Finally on July 8, 1990 he challenged Mark Breland for the WBA welterweight title. It was a give and take contest but Aaron stood up to Breland’s power. Finally in round nine it was Breland that crashed to the canvas. It was a brutal knockout and ” Superman ” was now a champion.
After two non-title victories, Aaron was challenged by the talented former junior welterweight titleholder, Meldrick Taylor. The hand speed of Taylor proved to be too much and Aaron left the ring an ex-champion. To Aaron’s credit he bounced back with six straight wins that led to a 1993 shot at the WBA junior middleweight title. In Monte Carlo Davis lost a hairline majority decision to Julio Cesar Vasquez.
In 1994 Aaron was upset by Tony Marshall. He rebounded in 1995 stopping Dennis Milton. He then lost a controversial verdict to rugged Bronco McKart. Aaron closed the year beating the respected ex-champion Simon Brown. A 1996 loss to Anthony Stephens began Aaron’s decline in the ratings. He did beat Marshall in a 1997 rematch but lost to rough and tough Jose Luis Lopez.
Over the next five years Davis won his last six bouts including a 2001 bloodbath against Vinny Pazienza. Paz was as tough and game as they come. There was no quit in Vinny. In this battle though Davis was a sharpshooter. His pinpoint jabs and uppercuts ripped Vinny’s face to pieces. Aaron was well ahead on points when despite the protests of Pazienza, the ringside doctor and referee Frank Cappucino halted the contest in round eight. Vinny was ever gracious in defeat and called Aaron a great fighter.
Aaron would have one more fight in 2002 winning a close one over Ross Thompson. Aaron Davis was surely among New York’s finest.