Ben Davison gives inside track on ‘UNIQUE’ Moses Itauma and reveals plan for future star

Moses Itauma is tipped by many to be the next big thing in boxing’s heavyweight division, and now he has the trainer of the moment to mastermind his journey to ring greatness.

Ben Davison is the cornerman of the moment right now after being key to Anthony Joshua’s renaissance in recent months – preparing AJ for those blistering demolition jobs on Otto Wallin and Francis Ngannou.

How Davison gets another prime job, looking after the precocious Itauma (8-0 with 6 inside distance) as the 19-year-old takes the next steps in his professional development.

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The Kent teenager will face Germany’s Ilja Mezencev (25-3) on the Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk undercard on Saturday night – and in the process will fight for a title for the first time. The WBO Intercontinental heavyweight title will be on the line.

Davison spoke to DAZN about his exciting new charge after open workouts in Riyadh this week, and had lavish praise for the man they call ‘Enriko’.

Moses Itauma Heavyweight Boxing
Heavyweight boxing sensation Moses Itauma speaks at the press conference for his fight on the Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou undercard in Riyadh in October 2023 (Photo – Round ‘n’ Bout Media/Queensberry Promotions).

Ben Davison on Moses Itauma

When asked if Itauma is the best young fighter he’s worked with, he explained: “I think he’s one of the most unique. Very rarely do you come across a heavyweight whose skill level would match across the board at any weight, and he is one of those guys. So we are more than excited to be working with such a talent.”

There has been much talk about the potential for Itauma to become the youngest world heavyweight champion ever, beating the record of a certain Mike Tyson back in the day (he was 20 years and 145 days).

Naturally Davison was asked about that lofty goal, and he gave a measured response, explaining: “For me, I always say the same thing talking about how quickly a prospect should move – I think you have to take it step by step. For example, I’m not saying this would happen, but if he doesn’t go past four rounds in 15 fight knocking everybody out, he hasn’t really experienced that much.

READ MORE: The inside track on Moses Itauma, heavyweight boxing’s next big thing

“So first and foremost, getting him rounds of sparring is very very difficult. That is the first thing we need to do, to get him used to doing the rounds – 10 rounds, 12 rounds, how quickly he can adjust to that, and then how many rounds he can get on a night will determine how quickly we can move him.

“I’ve only trained him for four or five weeks, so it’s hard for me to say. But from how quickly he’s progressed already, I’m extremely happy. Sometimes he plays it down but he’s extremely passionate about the sport of boxing. So he’s a very fast learner and I’m really excited.”

Anthony Joshua Ben Davison Day of Reckoning
Anthony Joshua pictured with new trainer Ben Davison ahead of his fight vs Otto Wallin on the ‘Day of Reckoning’ card in Saudi Arabia on December 23, 2023 (Photo Credit – Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing).

Has Joshua sparred Itauma?

With Joshua, Itauma and other big men in his gym, Davison has quite the talent pool to work on a daily basis. But one thing he has not done is allowed AJ and Itauma to spar each other.

“They’re all big guys and they’re capable of hurting each other, to be realistic. You have to be sensible. I like to create a team environment, they’re cheering each other on, talking to each other. AJ is sharing some fantastic advice with him and I love to see it.”

Despite their short time working together, Davison feels the new ideas he is bringing are already starting to have an impact on Itauma.

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“He got to a point where I think he struggled to see, not where he could improve, but where there was big areas for him to improve. And I think the way that we look at it is slightly different – I think once he saw that he thought ‘actually there’s loads for me to carry on learning here . I feel like it’s re-ignited the fire in him and he’s enjoying boxing again.”

So what about Itauma’s opponent on Saturday night? Davison respects him, but clearly has great confidence in his man.

“He’s very experienced. I think that as all the fighters are, they’re on the biggest stage of their career, and I think he’ll be coming to have a go. He’s got that experience, and maybe that will play into ‘Enriko’s’ hands, him being on a big stage and looking to come and have a go.”