HACKNEY super-lightweight Ohara Davies was fortunate to overcome seasoned Mexican Miguel Vazquez via 10-round decision after a lacklustre showing at York Hall in Bethnal Green.
In what was a lethargic, largely uneventful fight, Davies and Vazquez fought at a slow pace for much of the contest. It wasn’t until the Londoner suffered a rib injury around the halfway mark that the intensity increased slightly, as Vazquez noticed Davies’ discomfort and attempted to take advantage by upping his aggression and output.
At the end of a forgettable bout, Davies was controversially declared the winner by 97-94. Well aware that his performance hadn’t been up to scratch, he shook his head in disappointment and even raised the hand of Guadalajara’s Vazquez, who had previously reigned as IBF lightweight king from August 2010 until September 2014.
Thankfully, the main event on the night was far more entertaining. Cromer’s Ryan Walsh and Edinburgh southpaw Lewis Paulin engaged in a hard-fought, competitive encounter over 12 rounds, with Walsh coming out on top to retain his British featherweight title for the sixth time.
It was an interesting clash of styles, with Paulin moving smartly and connecting with fast jabs and speedy counters, and the busy Walsh displaying impressive variety by switching stances and mixing his attacks between the head and body.
The momentum ebbed and flowed, but ultimately Walsh’s better accuracy and crisper punching saw him run out a split decision victor. However, the champion had to fend off a spirited finish from Paulin, who was buoyed by the sight of blood seeping from a cut by Walsh’s right eye – the result of heads colliding in the final frame.
The judges’ scores read 117-111 and 115-114 (both to Walsh), against one card of 115-113 in Paulin’s favour. The challenger had been unbeaten going into the matchup.