MTK Global continued their impressive return to boxing on Sunday night with their card from Production Park Studios in Wakefield. The card was broadcast live on IFL TV in the UK and ESPN + in the U.S, giving the fighters some good exposure. Jay Harris was the main attraction of the undercard, who collected an impressive decision victory over Martin Braithwaite.
The night culminated in the much anticipated British welterweight fight between Michael McKinson and Martin Harkin, with both fighters arriving with their '0' intact - the former being ranked number 8 by the WBO, giving both fighters the opportunity to climb both the domestic and world rankings.
McKinson showed his dominance from the first bell, though it was disputed, being awarded a knockdown after just 30 seconds. The second, non controversial knockdown came only a round later, a clean hook sending Harkin to the canvas, leading to many not predicting that the fight would go the distance. The final knockdown came in the fifth round, with another hook. At first glance, the shot looked slightly low, making Harkin taking a knee.
The only blemish on McKinson's night would be not getting Harkin out of there with a stoppage despite the knockdowns. A regular story for McKinson who knocked his previous opponent Luis Alberto Veron down twice but failed to win the fight via stoppage. This may be a problem as he advances up the rankings, as his opponents skill level increases. Harkin who stated to ESBR that his only method of victory would be by knockout tried to come forward all night, but the gulf in class was clear.
Unlike some other scorecards over the weekend, there was no disputing this one. Credit must be given to Harkin, who managed last to the final bell despite the tough start. McKinson dominated the fight, showing that he is ready to make the step up to the top of the British scene. The welterweight division is an exciting one, with so much up and coming talent both Internationally and in Britain.
After the fight, he called out well-known names such as Josh Kelly, Conor Benn and Chris Kongo although this may prove difficult. The first two both have big fights coming up, and will be looking past the domestic scene – should they come away victorious. Kongo on the other hand, is perhaps the most likely dance partner. ‘2 Slick’ is coming off the back of his own impressive performance over Luther Clay on Matchroom’s fight camp and is currently looking for an opponent. That bout was his first proper test, and another fight against a British level fighter may not be the worst idea.
Other options include, British title holder Chris Jenkins or Frank Warren’s Ekow Essuman both of which would provide stern domestic tests.