Lightweight sensation Keyshawn Davis found himself in hot water when the Texas Commission suspended him for three months, transforming his latest victory from a majority decision win into a no-contest. This shocking development in the world of boxing has left fans and experts alike questioning the reasons behind this decision.
On October 15, Davis secured his undefeated record, now standing at 10-0 (6 KOs), with a win that some deemed lackluster over Nahir Albright in Rosenberg, Houston. Despite securing the win, Davis failed to shine as brightly as expected against his 16-2 New Jersey opponent.
The Texas Commission’s announcement of the suspension didn’t specify the rule Davis violated, leading to rumors that the Norfolk-born fighter had tested positive for marijuana. This revelation stirred mixed reactions within the boxing community, leaving many puzzled about why cannabis or its derivatives are considered banned substances in the sport.
ESPN later reported that Top Rank, Davis’ promoter, confirmed that the suspension resulted from a marijuana positive test. Davis will be eligible to return to the ring in January, marking the end of his three-month hiatus.
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Previously set to face former world champion Jose Pedraza on December 9, this highly anticipated bout may now be canceled, given the duration of Davis’s suspension. This unfortunate turn of events has left fans disappointed, as Davis is widely regarded as one of the brightest young prospects in the world of boxing.
In SN’s “25 Under 25” column, the 25-year-old Davis was ranked as the fifth best among his peers. Only Devin Haney, Jesse Rodriguez, Jared Anderson, and Ryan Garcia stood ahead of him, emphasizing his immense potential in the sport.
Why is Marijuana Banned from Competition?
To understand the rationale behind banning marijuana from competition, we turn to the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which explains that “Athletes who smoke cannabis or Spice in-competition potentially endanger themselves and others because of increased risk-taking, slower reaction times, and poor executive function or decision-making.”
Additionally, a thesis available on the National Library of Medicine’s website suggests that cannabis can be performance-enhancing in certain activities, such as extreme sports, as it promotes muscle relaxation, reduces anxiety, and eliminates fear memories, ultimately leading to improved performance.
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Marijuana is also known to be a masking agent for performance-enhancing drugs due to its diuretic effects, adding another layer of complexity to the debate surrounding its use in professional sports.
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Has a Fighter Ever Been Suspended Because of Marijuana?
In the annals of boxing history, the case of Mike Tyson stands out. On October 20, 2000, Tyson achieved a TKO 2 victory over Polish fighter Andrew Golota in Auburn Hills, Michigan. However, it was revealed after the fight that Tyson had refused to submit to a pre-fight drug test, a serious violation of the rules.
Subsequently, the former heavyweight champion was handed a three-month suspension by the Michigan Commission. Shortly thereafter, it emerged that Tyson had tested positive for marijuana in another test, leading to his victory over Golota being changed to a no-contest. Tyson himself admitted to the infringement in an interview with The Dan Patrick Show, shedding light on the complexities and consequences of marijuana use in professional boxing.
Keyshawn Davis’s recent suspension serves as a reminder that the debate around marijuana in the world of sports is far from settled, with opinions and regulations continuing to evolve.
In a world where the boundaries of sports and substance use are constantly shifting, Keyshawn Davis’s suspension serves as a stark reminder that the fight outside the ring can sometimes be as intense as the one inside it. As Davis bides his time, awaiting his triumphant return to the squared circle, the debate on marijuana in professional sports rages on, leaving fans and experts eagerly anticipating the next chapter in this gripping saga, where a young star’s future hangs in the balance, determined by both his actions in and out of the ring.