World title contender Jay Harris defends his Commonwealth flyweight title to challenger Marcel Braithwaite on Sunday, October 18 on an MTK Global event behind closed doors at the Production Park Studios in Wakefield.
BBN’s Editor, Tim Rickson, previewed the entire seven-fight card:
Jay Harris vs Marcel Braithwaite
Welshman Jay Harris (17-1, 9KOs) returns to domestic level after his valiant WBC World flyweight title attempt against hard-hitting Mexican Julio Cesar Martinez (16-1, 12KOs) in February this year in Texas.
30-year-old Harris was unbeaten up to then and now comes back to defend his Commonwealth strap for a second time to the newest challenger, reigning English super-flyweight champion, Marcel Braithwaite (9-2).
The 26-year-old challenger from Liverpool lost his last fight for the British super-flyweight title by unanimous decision but he did floor the winner, Sunny Edwards (15-0, 4KOs), in the seventh round.
Harris is heavier handed than slickster Sunny Edwards so will have more of a chance of stopping the challenger, which is what will be expected of him even though it’s a very tough title defence.
It’ll be interesting to see Braithwaite at flyweight but I believe Harris will be too good and likely beat him in every department to win comfortably on points, although I see the champion forcing the stoppage towards the championship rounds.
Betting Odds Supplied by Star Sports
Michael McKinson vs Martin Harkin
Mikey ‘The Problem’ McKinson (18-0, 2KOs) in his last four fights has defeated unbeaten South American champion Luis Alberto Veron (18-2-2, 9KOs); hard-hitting Russian Evgeny Pavko (18-3-1, 13KOs); Midlands Area champ Ryan Kelly (14-3, 7KOs); and Team GB national amateur star Sammy McNess (10-2, 4KOs) – the quartet were a respectable 58-4-3 combined, at the time.
As a former WBO European welterweight titleholder, he holds a lofty WBO #8 ranking. He also formely held the WBC International Silver belt, which he won against IBO World and European super-lightweight champion, and two-weight British titlist Colin Lynes (39-12, 15KOs) via a sixth-round stoppage in 2017.
The Portsmouth puncher has done everything that has been asked of him and is desperate for bigger fights to continue to prove himself.
Scottish welterweight Martin Harkin (13-0, 5KOs) proved his worth in his last fight with unbeaten James Moorcroft (13-1, 5KOs) in January this year. Moorcroft was busier but only throwing single shots and every time Harkin landed, it was heavy. His stand up tall style and minimal head movement made him an easy target and in round five, Harkin finished him off in brutal fashion.
The Celtic welterweight champion has scored stoppages in all his biggest fights – four from his last six contests. He is a dangerman but he can’t match McKinson for experience and quality of opponents right now.
McKinson won’t be there to be hit like Moorcroft was and he’ll aim to evade, slip and counter, and rack up the rounds towards another points win for the southpaw.
Paul Butler vs Ryan Walker
Former IBF World bantamweight champion Paul Butler (31-2, 15KOs) has his sixth fight back since world title defeat to Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12KOs) in 2018 against Londoner Ryan Walker (11-2, 2KOs).
Undefeated Shaw boxer Jack Rafferty (12-0, 7 KOs) has his first bout under the MTK Global banner against Redcar’s Tom Hill (9-1, 2KOs).
25-year-old ‘One Bomb’ Hill is a Northern Area title contender, who was stopped in the fourth round of the 10-round championship contest by Ellis Corrie (5-1-1. 2KOs). He bounced back with a shutout points victory over Serge Ambomo (7-20-2, 3KOs) in February this year.
‘Demolition Man’ Rafferty, 25 from Manchester, has only faced all the usual suspects so far in his three-year pro career, so this is his first real test. With seven KOs from 12 victories, having never lost a round, he should pass the examination with flying colours.
Rounding up the bill in October are the highly anticipated professional debuts of two amateur sensations, as Jordan Reynolds tackles Scott James (6-6-1), who has only lost one from his last six contests; and Paul McCullagh faces Ryan Hibbert (1-7), who won his last fight in March this year. Both debutants enter the paid ranks with ambitions to make a statement in their respective inaugurations.