MTK Global show at York Hall 13th July 2018
By Iain Dolan,
Local boy Larry “The Natural” Ekundayo triumphed in a thrilling encounter with Scotland’s John Thain (10st 5lbs 12 oz) at a hot and sweaty York Hall on Friday night. The IBF European Welterweight title was the strap on offer and Ekundayo (10st 7lbs) seized his opportunity. First to the punch for much of the fight, Ekundayo bloodied Thain’s nose as early as the second round and never allowed him a moment’s respite from that point onwards, jabbing with authority and mixing up his attacks to both body and head. Even when Thain enjoyed a successful moment, Ekundayo would have the last word in the exchange, making sure the judges noticed. Occasionally, Ekundayo loaded up with a telegraphed right hook and Thain countered well but it’s nit picking at what was an excellent performance from Ekundayo, who was well worth his unanimous verdict of 117-111,115-113 and 116-112. I felt the cards were a little generous to Thain who worked hard throughout the fight but was 2nd best for the majority of the action. The announcement was greeted noisily by Ekundayo’s sizeable group of fans, many of whom were flamboyantly attired in traditional West African garb.
Fight of the night was a good old tear up between Mikey Sakyi (9st 13lbs) and Siar Ozgul (10st) at light-welterweight. The fight ebbed and flowed with both having successful spells in a real toe to toe affair. I had Ozgul slightly in front going into the last round where Sakyi stunned Ozgul with a big right hook and his follow up flurry caused referee Jeff Hinds to stop the fight with only 64 seconds remaining as Ozgul was sagging dangerously. I spoke to Jeff Hinds afterwards and asked him who he had in front going into the last round but he played a straight bat. Apparently the BBBoC would frown on it if he were to divulge such information so all he would share was that it was “very close”.
Earlier in the evening, Danny Dignum over powered Konstantin Alexandrov at super-middleweight and recorded a 2nd round stoppage win. Mitchell Frearson (11st 9lbs) cruised to a 40-36 verdict over Scott Hillman (11st 13lbs) and Harley Benn was made to work for a 39-38 decision win over Rudolph Durica. Sammy McNess also chalked up a four round win on his comeback trail.
It was a good show with a good atmosphere, especially considering that the main event fell off the card at quite short notice. Every body loves York Hall’s Old School charm but I don’t think many will complain the day air conditioning gets installed!