Joyce and McCullagh to begin Golden Contract journey at iconic venue – Early all-Irish showdown?

David Oliver Joyce [11(8)-0] and Tyrone McCullagh [13(6)-0] will begin their quest to win the Golden Contract tournament and a career changing contract in London in October.

The quarter finals of the opening installment of the WBSS-style enterprise will take place on Friday October 4th at the iconic York Hall.

However, while the pair now have a date to prepare for they still don’t know which of the other six tournament contestants they will face.

Fighters will not know their opponents until fight week, at the start of which a random draw will be made – and it’s possible the Irish duo could be pulled out of the hat beside each other as early as the quarters, which will be contested over 10 rounds.

Currently confirmed for the 126lbs competition are Derry’s McCullagh, Mullingar’s Joyce, British champion Ryan Walsh, Commonwealth champion Leigh Wood, Jazza Dickens, and Cuban Hairon Socarras – with two more to be announced.

Considering all the belts and rankings which will be on the line throughout the tournament, WBO European champion Joyce could come away with all manner of ranking belts, while McCullagh could end up with a Commonwealth title or even the British belt which he does not particularly want.

More importantly, however, the winner of the tournament will land a two-year, five-fight deal with one of the world’s leading promoters – believed to be Top Rank – which guarantees six-figure purses for every fight along with global exposure.

The dates and locations for the light welterweight and light heavyweight editions of the Golden Contract, which feature Belfast’s Tyrone McKenna and Steven Ward respectively, will be revealed soon.

The three quarter-finals nights will take place across October and November, with the three semi-finals nights then in February and March before the all-important finals will in May and June.


Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: