The ‘Golden Contract’ tournament was yesterday announced by MTK Global, three knockout tournaments that will reward its winners with a two-year, five-fight contract with six-figure purses guaranteed for each of these contests.
Jamie Conlan, Professional Development Co-ordinator with MTK, confirmed to Irish-Boxing.com that multiple Irish fighters will feature in the eight-man brackets at featherweight, light welterweight, and light heavyweight.
Fighters who are signed to MTK Global are seen to be the front runners for the competition that begins at the quarter-final stage in October but entry is open to all rising prospects and contenders.
It is understood that entrants must be drawn from the Top 15 rankings of one of the four major organisations or currently be in the Top 75 in their weight on BoxRec.com
Such are the criteria, the shortlist of possible entrants is exactly that – a short list – and below Irish-Boxing.com look at some of the possibilities for each weight.
Who it won’t be
It’s fairly safe to say that Carl Frampton [26(15)-2(0)], who is being lined up for a challenge of WBO champion Oscar Valdez, and Mick Conlan [11(6)-0], one of Top Rank’s premier prospects, will not feature.
David Oliver Joyce [11(8)-0]
Managed by MTK, the Rio Olympian is eager to progress quickly in the pros and has proven to be a road warrior with his last two contests taking place in the UAE and Kazakhstan. The 32-year-old WBO European champion will have no qualms about jumping into a dog-eat-dog tournament and would seem very likely for this format.
Recent IBF super featherweight title challenger Jono Carroll [16(3)-1(0)-1] has always suggested that he could make it down to the featherweight division and could be a potential entrant – as could his MTK stablemate Tyrone McCullagh [13(6)-0] who has noted that he is finding it slightly harder to make the super bantamweight limit.
Tyrone McKenna [19(6)-1(0)-1]
A shoo-in for the competition, the Belfast entertainer is ready-made for the tournament having shown his penchant for domestic dust-ups over the past few years, effectively clearing out the Irish scene. Ready for a major step-up, the WBC International champion could get it this Autumn.
Steven Ward [12(4)-0]
The Newtownabbey favourite had a star-making performance last time out, defeating Liam Conroy in an Ulster Hall epic to claim the WBO European belt. Proven now to be capable of incredible action, a step into such a tournament could be his next move rather than rematch with Conroy or an assault on the British title.