The Look
November 26, 2013
From the Ring to the Runway: An Interview with Kwame Davis

The moment he enters a room, you sense Kwame Davis’s presence. His tenure as a model and two decades as a championship winning boxer can be seen in the perfectly sculpted physique, smooth gait, and flawless smile. The effortless confidence radiates. For this months issue of Esquire, Kwame is featured sporting the newest fashion forward suits, while discussing his duel successes in both the world of modeling and professional sports.  We sat down with Kwame to further inquire about the man with multiples titles- and its plain to see how he has found multiple victories in the ring and on the runway.

Photograph by Stewart Shining. Grooming by Scott McMahan

Ford: How did boxing begin for you? When did the transition to modeling happen?

Kwame: I started with my dad, he was my first coach, any fight that I had I won because of him. I used to work at this place called the coffee shop in Union Square, Sam (Doerfler) discovered me. We just started talking, I told him I was a boxer, he said they were doing Sean John and it just took off from there. At the time I was focused on boxing more than anything. I’ve been fortunate enough to balance both boxing and modeling.

Ford: Favorite photographers you have worked with?

Kwame: I would say Mario Testino and Mario Sorrenti.

Ford: That’s incredibly impressive! Tell me about your boxing career now

Kwame: I’m doing personal training, both regular clients and professional athletes. My company name is 1on1 Knockout. As far as training goes, this young lady Melissa St. Vil is ranked #2 in the world. She’s awesome. I just started with Cornelius “Lightning” Locke, he’s rendered #9 in the world. To be able to train a young man like that says a lot about your craft. Also, a fitness coach and consultant for those motivated to get into great physical shape. My dad used to train with Azuma Nelson, he’s very famous. A lot of big fighters took his style of fighting, even though he was closer to the streets.

Ford: So who trains you?

Kwame: Haha, I have two trainers.

Ford: You said “Modeling gives you the confidence, the charisma.” Can you elaborate how each career has given you that?

Kwame: With modeling, you have so much competition, but in a different way. You are constantly in the spotlight. Where as boxing, you are in your own world. Even with a big match, it’s all on you. You have to be confident to be able to walk on that runway. Boxing comes more naturally to me, its like second nature. Theres so much going on when you’re shooting. Boxing was always the plan. As a young man I had to build a name for myself, to now be able to train world-class athletes, and to have them win world titles 1st, 2nd, 3rd- that’s where I am at right now.

Ford: What are the most important values boxing has taught you:

Kwame: Humility and humbleness. You never know whist the next person is capable of doing, you always have to be ready.

Ford: The most important values modeling has taught you:

Kwame: I would have to say the same thing. You always have to be grateful because of the simple fact that it could always be someone else. You are fortunate enough to be in that position, because there are thousands of models, to be selected out of that is great.