By Iain Dolan
The first quarter final show, of MTK’s Golden Contract was at Featherweight and proved to be successful, eventful and an indicator, if one were needed, that a couple of 50/50 fights at the top of the card are always welcome. Also welcome were a couple of brilliant ring walk tunes in Teenage Kicks by the Undertones (Tyrone Mcullagh) and Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel (Jazza Dickens). A pleasant change from the usual interchangeable hip hop. (Yes, I’m old). It cannot be coincidence that both fighters prevailed in their respective quarter finals.
McCullagh fought tidily off the back foot and outpointed the game but outgunned Razaq Najib. The cards showed 97-93, 98-92 and 96-94 so a couple of judges credited Najib with being the aggressor but the scores make the fight seem closer than it really was. Jazza Dickens also won on the cards but was made to work hard for it by Carlos Ramos. Ramos was down in the 4th but dug in bravely to see the final bell.
Ryan Walsh, roared on by the Farmy Army scored an impressive stoppage victory over Hairon Socarras. Walsh dropped the Cuban in the 8th before stopping his man with a barrage of punches in the following round and not to be outdone, Nottingham’s Leigh Wood, dropped David Oliver Joyce twice before getting the stoppage. Walsh v Wood is the fight we all want to see, whether it’s the final or not.
Other notable events of the evening were Ohara Davis and Tyrone McKenna getting into a scuffle in the car park and there was some further poining and shouting inside York Hall. No harm done it seems and probably no harm done to ticket sales or viewing figures for the Golden Contract tournament at Light Middle which features both of them on Nov 22nd.Chief peacemaker during the indoor altercation was Tom Little, the Hatfield Heavyweight who I called flabby in a report 7 years ago (and made a joke about him eating too much KFC) which he read and have felt guilty about it ever since. I took the opportunity to apologise (once the pointing and shouting and hold me backing had finished obviously) and he couldn’t have been nicer about it. Tom is fighting in Monte Carlo on a Matchroom card on Nov 30th.
The most traumatic event of the night occurred in the pub before the show. I’d arranged to meet a friend in Mother Kelly’s (his suggestion), it’s a bit hipster and illustrative of how much Bethnal Green has changed over the last 5 years but it wan’t too packed and the house IPA was agreeable enough (sorry, can’t remember the name because I’ve only just decided that pub reviews are going to be a feature from now on. There will be names and not very educated tasting notes next time. However, they have big fridges full of all kinds of weird and wonderful beers and one called Moloko Plus caught my eye. I had to double take at the price though. 8 quid for a 330ml can. There was no way I was subjecting my wallet to that sort of ultra violence so stuck to the house IPA (5.50 a pint).
The moral of this story is, that if you’ve been talking about making the pilgrimage to York Hall but keep putting it off, I suggest doing it sooner rather than later as Bethnal Green is a changin’ Fortunately, York Hall is standing firm. Its only gentrification was a refurb of the toilets in the mid noughties.