Alright we posted a series of announcements on this on Sunday afternoon, but not big stories so let’s run down exactly what we’ve got for the three MTK Global Golden Contract tournaments, with more names added to the fields today.
- Ryan Walsh (24-2-2, 11 KO, BoxRec No. 32)
- Leigh Wood (22-1, 12 KO, BoxRec No. 46)
- Hairon Socarras (22-0-3, 14 KO, BoxRec No. 62)
- Jazza Dickens (27-3, 11 KO, BoxRec No. 94)
- Davey Oliver Joyce (11-0, 8 KO, BoxRec No. 80)
- Tyrone McCullagh (13-0, 6 KO, BoxRec No. 93)
Walsh is British champ and Wood is Commonwealth champ right now. The rest are about what you’d expect here: solid fringe contender fighters, some on the way up ostensibly, some just sort of treading water in their careers. But again, and I mean this: a tournament doesn’t have to have elite fighters to be good. Just guys who are hungry and want to win and will put on decent fights. And I think you have the makings for that here. If any of these guys were matched up outside a tournament right now, you could certainly say, “Yeah that’s a decent fight for those guys.”
- Ohara Davies (19-2, 14 KO, BoxRec No. 19)
- Anthony Yigit (24-1-1, 8 KO, BoxRec No. 27)
- Tyrone McKenna (19-1-1, 6 KO, BoxRec No. 55)
- Mohamed Mimoune (21-3, 2 KO, BoxRec No. 12)
- Akeem Ennis-Brown (13-0, 1 KO, BoxRec No. 30)
- Zhankosh Turarov (24-0, 17 KO, BoxRec No. 66)
Mimoune and Davies have the highest BoxRec rankings, but we saw Mimoune last time out get washed against Viktor Postol, smacking the wall when attempting to truly be a “world class” fighter, and Davies is coming off of a fight he obviously lost to Miguel Vazquez, only for the judges to hand Davies the fight. Of these six, I think they might actually be the two least likely to come out the winner of the tournament. Turarov is the lowest-rated here but also arguably the most interesting on paper. McKenna will be good for hype and a pretty good fighter, to boot.
- Hosea Burton (24-1, 11 KO, BoxRec No. 112)
- Steven Ward (12-0, 4 KO, BoxRec No. 80)
- Serge Michel (8-1, 6 KO, BoxRec No. 94)
- Bob Ajisafe (19-3, 9 KO, BoxRec No. 58)
- Liam Conroy (17-5-1, 9 KO, BoxRec No. 85)
Well, I mean — clearly the waters got a bit choppier finding light heavyweights. Burton bangs on about how avoided he is, but facts are facts and he got stopped in 12 by Frank Buglioni in Dec. 2016 and since then has faced nothing but extremely carefully selected opposition. He is a former British champ, beating Miles Shinkwin for the vacant title in Feb. 2016, but then he had three nothing fights before a first defense against Buglioni that went wrong, and he’s been all but hidden since. Ward maybe the most interesting guy here, but it’s right now a field you can look at and say, “Yeah, Bob Ajisafe might well win that.” No disrespect to Ajisafe, a former British and Commonwealth champ, but he’s 34 now and that probably wasn’t what anyone was looking to say going in here.
THAT SAID, any time I feel like something is obvious, boxing once it’s in the right has long had a habit of throwing some curveballs, so I expect next year saying that the 175-pounders had the best tournament of them all.