MTK Global announced the first three of eight boxers who will be competing in the light heavyweight edition of the Golden Contract tournament. Former British champion Hosea Burton (24-1), Steven Ward (12-0) and ex-Olympian Serge Michel (8-1) will all be part of the line-up, with five more names set to be announced. The winner of each of the three weight divisions tournaments will land a two-year, five-fight deal that guarantees six-figure purses. Three quarter-finals nights will take place in October / November, three semi-finals nights in February / March of 2020 and the finals will be staged in May / June. To add to the excitement, fighters will not know their opponents until fight week, at the start of which the highly anticipated draws will be made. All titles held will be on the line in each fight and knockout bonuses are also on offer.
Burton (24-1, 11 KOs) is the former British champion and has won all but one of his 25 fights, picking up knockout wins over Miles Shinkwin, Jahmaine Smyle, Fernando Castaneda and Ratu Latianara during his career. Burton said: “I’m the best light heavyweight in Great Britain, and the reason I’m entering this Golden Contract tournament is because I’m also the most avoided light-heavyweight in Great Britain. It’s a great opportunity for me to get some fights and get some exposure, and once I win this competition I’ll move on to big things.”
Unbeaten Ward (12-0, 4 KOs) heads into the tournament on the back of his recent fight of the year contender with Liam Conroy, where Ward came out on top after an incredible back and forth battle. Ward said: “I feel this is a massive opportunity. There haven’t been tournaments like this before, and it’s a tournament I feel I can win due to my amateur background. As an amateur you’re used to showing up and fighting guys on a few hours’ notice from the weigh-in. With this you only find out who you’ll face the week of the fight, so it’s very exciting. There are some massive rewards on offer at the end.”
Michel (8-1, 6 KOs) has displayed good knockout power in his career so far, as shown when he stopped Sheldon Lawrence inside three rounds in October. Michel said: “I’m from Germany and a former Olympian and I’m more than ready to win this tournament.”