The quarter-finals of MTK Global's Golden Contract super lightweight tournament took place at the historic York Hall in London on Friday, November 22.
In the most anticipated match-up of the quarter-finals, unbeaten American Logan Yoon (16-1, 12 KOs) suffered the first defeat of his professional career when he was stopped in seven rounds by Hackney's Ohara Davies (20-2, 15 KOs).
The fight failed to ignite in the early rounds, with both boxers unwilling to commit too far or expend too much energy too early. It was composed and controlled, and every round was so close to score.
Davies first began to really put his punches together in the fifth. During the sixth stanza, OD had finally emerged as the the more dominant, dangerous fighter, as he started to really get into his stride, and in the seventh segment, he was firing on all cylinders and hurting Yoon with heavy hits to the head. A stoppage was looking likely, but the round came to an end to save Yoon.
When Yoon went back to the corner, his trusted team felt he was taking too much punishment and stopped the fight.
An elated Davies said post-fight: “That was the hardest camp of my career. It was stressful but I felt great in there. It was the hardest I have ever worked and it’s all paid off.
“I’ve never been so glad in my lifetime. It doesn’t matter who I get in the semi-finals – it’s just business. That wasn’t even 80% of what I can do and I’ll raise it next time.
“Logan Yoon has a great chin. I don’t think he’ll get stopped throughout his whole boxing career. I hit hard and his legs were going nowhere.”
Colourful character Tyrone McKenna (20-1-1, 6 KOs) was momentarily hurt by a body shot in the second round of his fight with Mikey Skyi (8-3, 4 KOs), but apart from that he dominated the action, with his better boxing ability and vaster experience to secure a very one-sided 10-round unanimous decision, with scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 100-91.
McKenna retained his WBC International title with his fourth win on the spin.
McKenna said: “Mikey is very heavy-handed so I didn’t want to stay in the pocket too long. I was dying to because I was having some success in there but he was whipping in nice body shots.
“My corner were telling me to keep it long, landing two or three and the move off. There’s no cuts, bruises or blood so I’ve done pretty well. I’ve been watching Tyrone McCullagh too much!”
Former European welterweight champion Mohamed Mimoune (23-3, 3 KOs) bounced back from a knockdown in the second round to score a fifth round knockout of previously undefeated Darren Surtees (12-1, 8 KOs).
Mimoune was landing a lot of heavy punches as the contest played on and he closed the show after dropping the hard hitting Surtees in the fifth.
The 32-year-old Frenchman, nicknamed 'The Problme', commented on the fight: “He is a big puncher but I wasn’t in any danger when I went down. I have concentration issues and I’m going to work on that so I don’t make the same mistakes again.
“I knew I was going to get to him and my power would tell when he got tired. We wanted a tough fight but we knew I was going to stop him late.”
Late replacement Jeff Ofori (10-1-1, 3 KOs) fought to a 10-round draw with Welsh Area super-lightweight champion Kieran Gething (9-2-2, 2 KOs) - but pursuant to the rules of the tournament, referee Kieran McCann has the ability to break the draw, and he backed Ofori - who now moves forward to the semi-finals.
The scores were 95-95, 96-95 for Gething, and 96-94 for Ofori.
Londoner 'Jeffy' felt he was deserving of the win: “I feel that I won. I’ll have to watch it back and see what they thought. I was moving my head and dancing around and they might have given him those rounds.
“I was in Liverpool only last week fighting and it was a beautiful place. Now I’ve fought again and got two good wins. I want the best now. I took this opportunity and I want the best. I’m going to keep pushing.”
On-form Ofori only just fought on November 15th in Liverpool and won an eight round decision over previously undefeated Gerard Carroll.
ELLIOT WHALE bt Eligio Palacios PTS4
MARTIN McDONAGH bt Josh Thorne PTS4
Mauro Maximiliano Godoy bt Tackie Annan PTS6
The tournament heads for Brentwood on December 14, when light-heavyweights including Hosea Burton, Steven Ward, Liam Conroy, Lenin Castillo, Ricards Bolotniks, Serge Michel and Bob Ajisafe start their campaigns for glory.