The tournament has been hailed as a brilliant idea – the winner will get a multi fight deal with a top TV promoter and especially in the case of the featherweight tournament, become a multi bauble champion. (If a British fighter wins and the fights line up they could emerge as the British, Commonwealth and IBF and WBO European Champion). It is an exciting set up, but the concept isn’t a new one.
Since Eddie Hearn and Matchroom said they weren’t going to be revisiting their Prizefighter Tournament we have seen a host of “Prizefighter-esq” tournaments spring up: Ultimate Boxxer, Goodwin’s Fight Cup, WBSS and now The Golden Contract.
But where others have been hit and miss, The Golden Contract looks set to entice new and old fans to tune in and watch.
Where the aforementioned tournaments haven’t had big, established TV deals from the off, MtK’s Golden Contract has Sky Sports, and therefore, Matchroom and Eddie Hearn’s, backing. This will bring the “casual” views and also, no doubt, the overuse of Sweet Caroline… which gives it a better starting fanbase than all the others.
What also helps is it has established boxers and/ or champions. In the Featherweight tournament you have the British, Commonwealth, IBF European and WBO European Featherweight Champions as well as the WBO Super-Bantamweight Champion – casual viewers see belts, they think it’s worth tuning in to. Before The Golden Contract only the WBSS promised title fights.
On top of that, what the Golden Contract gives is a host of domestic fighters ready to take the opportunity on the table. Not even the World Boxing Super Series, for obvious reasons, gave us that so certain fights were overlooked on these shores and were criminally only shown on the WBSS website.
All these factors mean that the Golden Contract ticks almost every box that you could ask for:
On a broadcaster that is known and the majority already have? Tick
Recognisable/ domestic fighters to draw viewers in? Tick
Belts galore? Tick
And the winner of each tournament will land a two-year, five-fight deal that guarantees six-figure purses for every fight along with global exposure. Only the WBSS could offer more for the winner of their tournament, though as we’ve seen, that format has begun to stutter.
Forget that we at Southpaw Jab have an invested interest in Friday’s Featherweight Quarter Finals in the form of Team Southpaw Jab’s Ryan Walsh, we’d be tuning in regardless. This tournament has captured our imagination and we’re intrigued to see how both the Featherweight, Super Lightweight and Light Heavyweight tournaments play out and we’re excited to see which tournaments they announce next (cough*Flyweight/ Super-Flyweight*cough… c’mon MtK, you’ve got enough of them).