MTK hosted a star-studded fight night at York Hall on Friday night with both British and foreign talent taking centre stage.
ESBR were on hand to report on all of the action as it took place…
Ryan Walsh vs Lewis Paulin – 12 x 3 Rounds – British Featherweight Title
In what can only be described as a classic British Title clash, Walsh who was competing in his Sevent British title fight, just about did enough to get the victory over a very game Lewis Paulin.
Pushed all the way and both backed by very noisy support, Paulin certainly had his moments in the fight, even enough for one judge to award him a points decision.
Paulin who had only had 12 fights previous to last night compared to Walsh’s 27 had mostly fought journeyman in his professional career so must be given a lot of praise for taking a massive step-up when called upon to do so.
Although competitive right the way through, Walsh was able to dictate the pace of the fight when he wanted to as well as invite the Scot to trade on occasions.
Now 33, Walsh has given an indication of wanting a rematch with Isaac Lowe who was able to get a draw against Walsh last year or attempt to move up to European level again, after holding the British title since 2015.
Ohara Davies vs Miguel Vazquez – 10 x 3 Rounds
“OD” returned to winning ways almost exactly a year after his last professional victory, all be it in controversial circumstances against Mexican & former world title challenger Miguel Vazquez.
In what wasn’t a very entertaining fight, fans in attendance & watching at home seemed disappointed/surprised with the outcome as did Davies who held up Vazquez’s arm after being awarded a points decision of 97-94.
Davies who certainly showed signs of rust won plenty of the jab exchanges early on, looked like he was growing into the fight at some stages but never really got going in what could be described as a cagey affair.
Vasquez on the other hand started to put more pressure on Davies in the last couple of rounds but clearly didn’t do enough to warrant a points victory.
To be fair to Davies, not only was this his first fight since defeat to Jack Catterall in October of last year, he also indicated immediately after the fight that he had injured a rib which could have contributed towards his below-par performance.
Siar Ozgul (15-3) vs Anthony Yigit (23-1) – 8 x 3 Rounds
Siar Ozgul put on a fantastic display against the highly rated Anthony Yigit over 8 rounds. Ozgul who was bouncing back from his defeat to Samuel Antwi two months ago, battled through the entire fight, only losing on a 75-78 scorecard.
Yigit who perhaps had a tougher nights work than expected, is talked about as being world class by many and is likely to be looking to secure a big fight next after fighting in 3 consecutive 8 round fights.
Ozgul on the other hand who has been unlucky to lose 4 out of his last 5 fights, gained some live exposure to many, will make a decision over whether to continue to chase big fights and be in danger of becoming a ‘stepping stone’ fighter or whether he wants to make going on a winning run a priority.
Daniel Egbunike (4-0) vs Martin McDonagh (5-0) – 10 x 3 Rounds
Tentative start from the undefeated fighters with strong support for both echoing throughout York Hall.
Egbunike looking to engage in a scrap towards the end of the 2nd round, Mcdonagh preferring to box rather than trade punches.
Mcdonagh perhaps winning the majority of early rounds. Mcdonagh made aware of Egbunike’s power during the middle rounds but able to get out of trouble.
However, despite McDonagh’s early elusiveness, Egbunike’s percentage strike increased as the fight got into the later rounds with a touch of fatigue settling in with Mcdonagh.
Egbunike continued to battle as Mcdonagh continued to wobble as we reached the last couple of rounds it became evident that this fight had come too soon for the 24 year old who perhaps showed his naivety as the fight reached it’s conclusion.
The official scorecard was announced as 97-93 to Egbunike with few being able to disagree after the Londoner’s domination in the 2nd half of the fight.
Jack Ewbank (2-0) vs Michael Williams (2-14) – 4 x 3 Rounds
Welterweight Jack Ewbank started off the night with an active and busy performance over 4 rounds against Michael Williams.
Williams who was throwing very little in the first round, came into the fight in rounds 2&3 but was unable to match Ewbank’s work rate as the 28 year old moved to 3-0.
Bradley Haxell (2-0) vs Andy Harris (3-70) – 4 Rounds
Crowd favourite Bradley Haxell was making his York Hall debut against the experienced Andy Harris in the lightweight division.
Not having things all his own way, Harris had occasional success in the fight but was unable to win any rounds according to the Referee who awarded Haxell a lopsided 40-36 decision.
Sam Gilley (8-0) vs Nathan Hardy (9-25) – 6 Rounds
Looking to go 9-0, Sam Gilley went up against the very tough Nathan Hardy who was brought in at very short notice.
Originally supposed to face the awkward Jumaane Camero, Gilley adapted well to a different style as the fight went the full six rounds.
Admitting afterwards to ESBR that it wasn’t his best performance, the East Londoner re-stated his intent to fight for a title in the remainder of 2019.