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
© 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
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
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
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,
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
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:
Friday, 09 August 2013