Tomorrow night MTK are bringing us not one, but two finals of their well received Golden contract tournament. The lucrative six-figure contracts will be awarded in both the Featherweight and Junior Welterweight classes.
Featherweight: Jazza Dickens v Ryan Walsh
First up will be Featherweights. In contrast to the main event the 126lbs final will feature two of British boxing’s most well liked figures.
First of which is James ‘Jazza’ Dickens, the Liverpudlian puncher who made his name in a valiant effort against one of the greatest small men of recent times, Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Since then he has embarked on a successful featherweight run, culminating in this golden contract competition. First he beat reigning European champion Carlos Ramos, then he booked his place in the final by dominating hot tournament favourite Leigh Wood over 10 rounds.
His competition will be reigning British featherweight champion Ryan Walsh. One of three fighting brothers Walsh has also faced the best, boasting former world champion Lee Selby, WBC International champion Issac Lowe and former British champion Reece Bellotti on his resume.
On his way to this final Walsh handily dispatched Hairon Socarras in the quarter finals and dropped Tyrone McCullagh multiple times on route to his semi final victory.
This final is extremely well matched and few are picking a definitive winner. The bookies are quoting it at almost even, with Walsh a shade the favourite with some and Dickens with others. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be entertaining.
Junior Welterweight: Tyrone McKenna v Ohara Davies
From likeable to controversial, both McKenna and Davies split opinion wherever they go. Both outspoken, brash, opinionated and cocksure this potential matchup has fascinated onlookers from the beginning.
Davies, despite losses to Josh Taylor and Jack Caterall,started the favourite having beaten the likes of Miguel Vázquez and Tom Farrell. His competition and a high level and undeniable punching power made most favour the east London native.
His progression through the tournament has been destructive. He first beat American Logan Yoon, forcing him to retire after 7 rounds. He then moved onto the ever tough Jeff Ofori, where he won in 6.
McKenna was the other assumed finalist at the start of the competition. Like Davies, he too had come up short against Caterall but had beaten good domestic campaigners like Lewis Benson and Darragh Foley.
A stylish boxer with quick feet and an even quicker mouth, McKenna’s progression through the tournament has not been as easy. His quarter final was vintage McKenna as he boxed to a unanimous division over Mikey Sakyi. His semi final was another matter.
He faced tough Frenchman Mohamed Mimoune, appropriately nicknamed the problem he proved exactly that. Although McKenna started well at the culmination of 10 rounds it was clear to almost everyone that Mimoune had won, everyone but the judges that is.
Although no fault of McKenna, the judges for whatever reason ruled in his favour. Unjust, but now irreversible, Tyrone progresses to face his nemesis Davies in the final.
This matchup is a true boxer v puncher classic with McKenna at his best when light on his feet circling and Davies when he can throw heavy leather. I think the sensible money is with Davies, but anything can happen in boxing.
SimBoxx Team Predictions
Editor in Chief Luke Carney: “It’s a tough call for both! I would prefer McKenna to win but I think Davies has enough to stop him. I actually want to call a draw in Walsh v Dickens but if pushed I’ll go Walsh on a tight points win.”
Content Writer Ewan Breeze: “This is a fantastic midweek fight card, I backed Jazza Dickens against Wood and he emphatically proved me right, so I’ll pick Dickens again via a UD. As for the 140lbers, I always route for those facing Ohara Davies, so McKenna UD.”
Correspondent Bobby Gunn: “This is a very Tough one to call. I’d go for Ryan Walsh to win on points and Ohara Davies to win via a late stoppage”
Content Writer Aaron Ludford: “I see both Ohara Davies and Ryan Walsh winning the contracts.It would be a travesty for McKenna to win considering he didn’t win in the semis”
Piece by Ewan Breeze for SimBoxx