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Ryan Walsh, Leigh Wood, Hairon Socarras join Golden Contract tournament

Three featherweights are in for one of MTK Global’s tournament.

Boxing at York Hall Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images

MTK Global have announced the first three participants in their upcoming “Golden Contract” featherweight tournament, with two domestic UK titleholders among the trio.

British champion Ryan Walsh (24-2-2, 11 KO) and Commonwealth champion Leigh Wood (22-1, 12 KO) are in, along with Cuban Hairon Socarras (22-0-3, 14 KO).

Walsh is ranked No. 6 by the WBO, Wood No. 15 by the IBF, and Socarras No. 7 by the WBA, so the tournament boasts “world-ranked” fighters already.

Of course, nobody sane on earth has any of them in the top 10 or 15 of the 126-pound division. BoxRec, for example, have Walsh No. 32, Wood No. 46, and Socarras No. 62, which is a lot closer to reality.

That said, it’s not a bad start at all. MTK were never going to get a bunch of world champions or serious, true top-level contenders, most likely — though they are promising “even more huge names set to be announced” — but a tournament doesn’t need the elites to be good TV and compelling boxing, just hungry fighters coming to win.

“I’ve entered this tournament because I know that I can win it. I’m really excited with the opportunity it brings and the activity,” Walsh said. “There are some good fighters in this tournament but I believe my experience will be the major factor towards my success.”

“It’s going to very exciting and all the fans are going to be getting great fights,” said Wood. “There will be no ducking and diving or waiting for mandatory positions. You know what I bring every time and I can’t wait.”

“I’m delighted to be entering the Golden Contract tournament,” Socarras added. “I’ve got 14 wins by stoppage in my career so far and with the knockout bonuses in this competition, I’ll be on the hunt for more wins inside the distance.”