Olympic Boxer Howard Davis Jr. Dies, Public Memorial Service Held In Fort Lauderdale
After a battle with cancer, Olympic gold medalist and boxer Howard Davis Jr. died on Dec. 30 at the age of 59.
Davis, a Broward County Sports Hall of Famer, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer about a year ago. He died surrounded by family at his home.
"My husband was the strongest man that I've ever known and he went the way that he wanted," his wife, Karla Guadamuz-Davis, said in a release. "I held him in my arms and told him how much he has meant to all of us. He heard great things in his ear before he passed. I'm so blessed that I had time to say goodbye.”
A public memorial service for the athlete will be held at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 7.
The service will feature 15 speakers and a video with highlights of Davis’s life. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the program begins at 6:15 p.m.
Davis was born on Feb. 14, 1956, in Glen Cove, New York. He won gold in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal and dedicated the medal to his mother, who died three days before his first fight in the games.
According to the Howard Davis Jr. Foundation, Davis then became a professional prize fighter in the lightweight division. He moved to South Florida in 2003 to train MMA fighters and co-founded Fight Time Promotions with his wife.
In an interview with the Sun Sentinel this summer, Davis opened up about his battle with the disease and said he was determined to fight.
“I don’t quit," he said. "Champions don’t quit, and I’ve been a champion all my life."
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Howard Davis Jr. Foundation to provide financial aid to families wishing to seek alternative health treatments.
Davis is survived by his wife, 11 children and nine siblings.
(Photo courtesy TransMedia Group)