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Norfolk’s Jayda Davis jabs past bullying, sets sights on national Golden Gloves title

NORFOLK, Va. - In amateur boxing, the month of May is when champions are made. Next week in Ralston, Nebraska, the nation's top boxers will collide at the national Golden Gloves tournament.

Jayda Davis

Norfolk is sending four boxers: Christian Salinas, Nick Sullivan, Kelvin Davis, and Jayda Davis. "The Golden Gloves have been around for a long time, so it has its history," Team Norfolk coach Randell Johnson told News 3.

"You want to make a mark in it, you know, you want to put your name on it. and right now, that's what we're trying to focus on."

The stakes are raised this year for Jayda, a rising sophomore at Norfolk State. She'll be making her third trip to the Golden Gloves, but it's the first time women will be competing for a national title. "Me going this far, it just makes me want to push for bigger and better things," Davis said.

Jayda's boxing journey started seven years ago. She had always been around the sport because of her father's side of the family, but her bouts with bullying outside of the ring pushed her to step inside.

Jayda practices in the mirror.

"I was big but my arms were always kind of muscular, so I would get called athlete man, or she hulk, something that would make me cry. Instead of talking to someone about it, I just wanted to fight."

Boxing has taught Jayda that life is a 15-round fight. When words or failure knock you down, you get back up, and keep fighting.

"I've learned to just block them out. Sometimes I thought I couldn't do it, at one point, I wanted to quit. And I've got to kind of just learn to block that out. It's kind of like you're still fighting outside of the ring too."