Ohara Davies returns from hiatus to get past veteran Miguel Vazquez while Ryan Walsh and Lewis Paulin dispute the British featherweight title
Hackney super-lightweight Ohara Davies returned from eight months out and defeat to Jack Catterall at York Hall in Bethnal Green. He took a justifiable albeit mundane 10-round decision, 97-94, over faded former IBF lightweight king Miguel Vazquez on an otherwise exciting MTK Global show.
Vazquez moved and probed with his long jab, while Davies was content to sit on the back foot and attempt to counter the Mexican’s rare forays forward. OD’s footwork was efficiently economical and he landed a number of eye-catching right hands in the first half, but never dominated in a cagey affair. Vazquez showed increased urgency as Davies laboured in the final four sessions but it was too little, too late, although remarkably Ohara shook his head at the verdict and raised his opponent’s hand.
Davies, a polarising figure, indicated in the post-fight that he had sustained a painful injury to the left side of his ribs, which may explain why he struggled in the second half.
Ryan Walsh retained for the sixth time the British featherweight title that he has held since 2015. He was pushed all the way however by 12-0 left-hander Lewis Paulin of Edinburgh. The Cromer switch-hitter, backed by typically noisy support, dictated the pace for the majority of the first eight rounds, outworking his foe, but Paulin shone in parts with fast hands.
The Scot came on strong in the latter stages yet dropped a split decision, the 115-113 tally in his favour being overruled by scores of 115-114 and a too-wide 117-111 for the champion.
Former unbeaten European super-lightweight champion Anthony Yigit, a Swede of Turkish heritage, outclassed London-based Turk Siar Ozgul, who nonetheless never stopped trying over eight rounds. Southpaw Yigit remained a step ahead for the most part and was sharp and accurate. The 78-75 score in favour of the one-time IBF title challenger looked generous to brave Ozgul.
In a stirring 10-round Southern Area eliminator that was a credit to a pair of unbeaten ostensible novices, Daniel "Danny Darko" Egbunike of Chessington used intelligent pressure to overcome the speed and movement of Isle of Sheppey’s Martin McDonagh. McDonagh started sharply but Egbunike drew his lead and countered off the front foot. The Kent man, 5-0 coming in, showed his class in spurts with straight shots off his toes, but Egbunike proved too smart and strong, winning 97-93 and moving to 5-0 himself.