By Iain Dolan
The Golden Contract format delivered again at York Hall on Fiday night. First up, Jeff Offori turned over the MTK home fighter for the 2nd time in a week so it maybe time for them to sight him up. Coming off an 8 rounder in Livepool last week, Offori was the busier fighter against Kieran Gething over 10 rounds. The three judges game up with a split decision draw so the referree had the casting vote and rightly in my eyes, sent Offori through to the semi finals.
Fight of the night was a real up an downer between tournament favourite Mohamed Mimoune and Darren Surtees. Mimoune is a rangey southpaw and Surtees orthodox and these match up can often be ugly borefests but this was quite the opposite. A big straight right in the 2nd from Surtees dumped Mimoune on the seat of his shorts. Mimoune chose to meet fire with fire though and worked his way back into the fight with body shots over the next couple of rounds. Now in the ascendancy, Mimoune found the winning combination in the 5th where a right hook followed by a straight left put Surtees down hard. Surtees rose on unsteady legs and the referee correctly called a halt to the action.
Tyrone McKenna, fresh off the back of a car park scuffle with Ohara Davies outpointed the brave but outgunned Mikey Sakyi. Sakyi was never in real troubl ebut never got to grips with McKenna’s’s southpaw style. McKenna landed the more telling punches throughout and took a wide decision 100-90 x 2 and 99-91 on the cards.
Maybe a car park scuffle is an effective training method because Ohara Davies also won his quarter final quite comfortably against Hawaii’s Logan Yoon. Yoon was in good shape and showed a ridiculously robust set of whiskers as Davies, a renowned banger, bounced punch after punch after punch off his head. Davies actually started quite tentatively but soon found his rythmn and enjoyed a lot of success with the left jab, straight right combination. Yoon was shipping a lot of punishment but into the 7th round had stopped throwing back. A few at ringside, including the ringside doctor, felt that the contest should have been stopped but fortunately Yoon’s own corner saw sense and pulled their man out at the end of the round.
Competetive fights, knock downs, stoppages, an upset and the semi finals are set up quite nicely however the draw goes. I think that Davies v Mimoune is the fight we’d all likelt see be it semi final or final, but of course there may be unfinsihsed business from the car park to take care of first.
The show being on a Friday did mean that my pre fight pub time was limited so a quick pint in the Salmon and Ball by Bethnal Green station was all I had time for.
Standard chain pub beers on offer but notable for its “cash only” policy which confounded some of the young and fashionable people who only tap and go. Fortunately I am neither. This is a proper old school boozer that has been described by people of questionable constitution as “a bit of a crap hole”.
It’s probably not somewhere I’d recommend for a date or wedding anniversary but for a pre York Hall livener, it’s just the ticket.