The resilience of Kathy Davis, who is behind the newest Mayweather-backed boxing studio in Tennessee

Abu Mubarik January 05, 2023
Kathy Davis. Photo credit: Entrepreneur/Mayweather Boxing + Fitness

Kathy Davis is a franchise owner of Mayweather Boxing + Fitness, a fitness center experience developed by Floyd Mayweather. Davis said she decided to open one of the first Mayweather Boxing + Fitness franchises in Tennessee after seeing an advertisement for the franchise on social media.

“The name [Floyd] Mayweather, his background of being a champion, that’s a no-brainer. And I’ve always said I wanted to do a franchise at some point,” she told the Entrepreneur. “Having a group of people who were experts in running successful businesses, and not having to do it on your own—that appealed to me.”

Davis launched her franchise in 2019 just before the pandemic led to a shutdown of gyms nationwide. Despite the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on Black businesses, she was able to weather the storm and stay afloat by virtualizing her training sessions.

“We did virtual workouts at no cost until we could open back up,” she said. “There was no income coming in at all, but we took all the precautions to make people feel safe, so if they were willing to come in, we were there.”

Davis’ interest in a fitness center dates back to her childhood days in Detroit. According to the Entrepreneur, she played basketball and baseball and rode bikes. She became a group fitness instructor in Atlanta right after college.

She started a personal training business in her early 30s and spent the next two decades trying bodybuilding, spin classes, triathlons, and marathons.

When she and some of her friends saw an advertisement for the Mayweather Boxing + Fitness franchise on social media, they saw it as an opportunity to open one since the brand name already speaks for itself.

Running a franchise did not come easy for Davis. Besides the pandemic, she and her team in some cases found themselves switching to a new contract with a different vendor because they were not meeting the needs of the brand. 

“We also had equipment that didn’t look like newer franchisees’ equipment due to changes here and there in the equipment package, which made our fairly new studio look different from the others,” said Davis, who is in her 50s.

“But the franchisor recognized this and provided ways for us to make the updates if we desired. There were also tweaks to class programming, due to feedback directly from us franchisees and our customers on what was or wasn’t working. The main point here is that nothing starts off perfect.”

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