After a build up hampered with multiple withdrawals, the Super Lightweight edition of MTK’s excellent Golden Contract competition got underway at the York Hall in Bethnal Green last night.
Following the loss of Anthony Yigit and Zhankov Turarov last week, Lewis Benson was also forced to pull out just 24 hours from fight night on medical advice. Benson’s loss turned out to be Jeff Ofori’s gain, and the Tottenham man grabbed his chance with both hands by advancing to the semi finals at the expense of Welsh Area Champion, Kieran Gething.
Ofori was last seen just seven days ago, that occasion was also on short notice, as he took Gerard Carroll’s unbeaten record with an eight round points win in Liverpool.
His meeting with Gething was a tough one to call throughout, with both men having their successes during rounds. One man would seemingly start well, only for the other to put in a strong argument to edge the round on the scorecards. Ofori would mix his shots up well, whilst the Welshman was working well off the jab in a nip and tuck affair.
More of the same followed as the fight drew to a close, and the pair sensed the fight was on the line in the last round, where they both gave their all. A finish couldn’t be found so it was down to the judges, where the fight was that subjective, that a fourth verdict was required to decide the outcome.
Ofori’s 96-94 verdict was countered by a 96-95 one for Gething, and a third ruling the fight a draw. As this was a tournament contest, the referee’s opinion was required, and Kieran McCann crucially awarded the fight to Ofori, allowing the Londoner to complete a whirlwind week with a famous win.
Brash Londoner O’Hara Davies safely over came the threat of Hawaii’s unknown quantity, Logan Yoon, stopping the 21 year old at the end of seven rounds.
It was a cagey opening couple of rounds until Davies upped the workrate in the third, landing with a crunching right hook that damaged Yoon’s face. The right hand was at the heart of all of Davies’ good work, with a one-two also finding the mark in the round. The fourth and fifth were more technical affairs, but Davies was having the last word. The visitor did manage to push Davies back in the sixth, but he was struggling to make much of an impact.
Yoon’s downfall would come in the seventh, as he deployed a change in tactics, deciding to trade with Davies. This would prove a major error, as “Two Tanks” landed his right hand at will, with crashing shots bouncing off the American’s skull. The damage caused was too much, and at the end of the session, Yoon’s corner had seen enough, and rightly pulled their man out of the line of fire.
Davies’ rival in the build up has been Tyrone McKenna, and the Belfast man cruised through to the last four with a wide points win against another replacement in Mikey Sakyi.
The Romford resident had a brief success with a body shot that troubled McKenna in the second, but that was about as good as it got for the Londoner. McKenna controlled the action at range, and was allowed to fire of combinations almost at will as Sakyi struggled to gain a foothold.
McKenna took the eighth off, allowing Sakyi to scorer with decent hooks, but McKenna was in total control.
This was reflected on the cards, with two scores of 100-90, and one at 99-91 confirming the WNC International champion’s dominance.
Mohamed Mimoune completes the semi final line up, as he used his superior experience to stop Darren Surtees in five entertaining rounds.
It was a patient start from the Frenchman, and he switched off in the second, allowing Surtees to score a knockdown from a big right hand. This sparked Mimoune into action, and he upped the ante in round three, going on the front foot with some heavy hook combinations. He hurt Surtees in round four, especially with a right to the body, and the end looked nigh.
This was duly delivered in the next, as Mimoune landed flurries of punches, and then a straight left finally dropped the man from the North East. Surtees returned to his feet, but, on unsteady legs, the fight was waved off by the referee, Kieran McCann.