MTK shows continue to go from strength to strength, and their latest offering is this Friday night at the York Hall, Bethnal Green.
The card sees the return of O’Hara Davies (18-2, KO14), as he makes a comeback following an eight month lay off. The bout is scheduled for ten at 140lbs.
The 27 year old meets former IBF Lightweight Champion, Miguel Vazquez (41-7, KO15) who is a 48 fight veteran at the age of 32.
Davies’ career has stalled somewhat since a fifteen fight unbeaten start to his career was derailed at the fists of current IBF Super Lightweight Champion, Josh Taylor in July 2017. That night, Davies was dropped twice and stopped in seven rounds.
He did rebuild with three straight wins, but lost for a second straight time in a stinker at the Morningside Arena, Leicester in October 2018. Jack Catterall unanimously outscored “Two Tanks” but the action was sparse, with Davies reluctant to engage.
The often brash Londoner needs an eye catching performance in Bethnal Green to reignite a once promising career, but he may have it tough against his well schooled Mexican opponent.
Miguel Vazquez captured the vacant IBF Lightweight Title back in 2010, with a wide points win against Ji Hoon Kim, and defended the belt six times before Mickey Bey relieved him of it in a September 2014 split decision win.His only other defeats up to then had come against the excellent Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Timothy Bradley.
Since the Bey reverse, Vazquez is 7-4, and 2-2 in his last four outings. The previously mentioned Josh Taylor knocked him out in nine in November 2017, and he also failed in a tilt at the IBO Super Lightweight Title in December 2018, when unbeaten Thulani Mbenge forced Vazquez to retire in nine in South Africa. Those defeats are the only stoppages on the Guadalajara man’s slate, and show signs that he is on the slide. He is coming off a split decision win against Ghislain Maduma in Canada last time out in March.
Prediction: The break will hopefully have done Davies some good, and one hopes he will be back to business this weekend. Vazquez ambitions have certainly slowed over the last few years, and is now seemingly happy to travel for pay. I expect the Mexican to come to win still, and may cause Davies problems early on. Once O’Hara cranks the heat up though, I expect him to stop Vazquez in the later rounds, around the eighth.
There is also a British Title offering on the card, as the often overlooked, Ryan Walsh (23-2-2, KO11) defends the Lonsdale Belt at Featherweight that he owns outright.
Relatively unknown Scot, Lewis Paulin (12-0, KO3) makes the leap from Area level to challenge the Cromer native.
Walsh has been an excellent British Champion, since a split decision win over Samir Mouniemne for the vacant belt back in September 2015. He has defended five times, with back to back fifth round stoppages against Darren Trainer and James Tennyson and an eleventh round stoppage of Marco McCullough. He drew with Isaac Lowe in February last year, but in his last appearance, he impressively dealt with Reece Bellotti via split decision in December 2018. Sandwiched between this was an unsuccessful bid for the European Title, losing out via another split decision in Denmark against Denis Ceylan.
The danger with Paulin will be if Walsh has overlooked his opponent. Although unbeaten, the Edinburgh man hasn’t fought anywhere near the calibre of opponent as Walsh has.
His best win came in December 2017, where he picked up the Scottish Area Title with a wide pints win against fellow unbeaten fighter, Stephen Tiffney in Paisley. He receives his shot at Walsh on the back of a fourth round stoppage of the 0-2 Mohamed Mahmoud in Glasgow, but that was over a year ago in May 2018.
Prediction: With the level Walsh has been fighting at, he should be able to deal with Paulin easily enough. With his switch hitting style, he could have his man frustrated pretty quickly. I see Paulin being disheartened and broken down after halfway to hand the Norfolk man a stoppage win.
The highlight of the rest of the card is an eight rounder at Super Lightweight, where Sweden’s Anthony Yigit (23-1-1, KO8) returns after a horror eye injury loss against Ivan Baranchyk in a bid for the vacant IBF Title in the World Boxing Super Series last year.
He meets the durable Siar Ozgul (15-3, KO3) who took former WBC Champion, Viktor Postol the full ten rounds last year.