MTK Global is aiming to stage their first show in the UK since the coronavirus pandemic next month, with the Golden Contract super-lightweight and featherweight finals likely to go ahead on the same show in late August.
Ohara Davies and Tyrone McKenna are due to clash in an acrimonious final at super-lightweight, with Ryan Walsh and Jazza Dickens the last two standing at featherweight.
Both made it through the semi-finals in February but plans to stage the finals have been put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic. Now it appears likely the both fights will take place on the same show behind closed doors.
Paul Gibson, the chief strategy officer for MTK Global, said they were working the Sky to stage the bouts in August after Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp series has wrapped up.
However, the tournament’s light-heavyweight final stages will be delayed. The semi-finals – featuring Hosea Burton, Serge Michel, Liam Conroy and Ricards Bolotniks – had been due to take pace on March 20, but was postponed three days before because of the rising threat of the pandemic.
Because of the multi-nations cast list, it is unlikely those semi-finals will now take place until September at the earliest, with a rush then on to stage the final this year.
“It will need to be after Eddie has finished his Fight Camp shows, because all Sky resources will be tied up in that,” Gibson said.
“The super-lightweight and featherweight finals feature four British and Irish boxers, so it is a lot easier to control, without having to have people flying in. We have been unlucky with the light-heavyweights, because we were all set to go for March 20 when the lockdown stopped it. Now we will have to wait a bit longer.”
MTK Global will be back before the Golden Contract shows and is planning to stage shows in July, August and September, as part of its deal with ESPN+. The shows will be shown in the UK on IFL TV.
The company is also looking to stage a show in Kazakhstan in mid-July, although there will not be any Dubai shows in the near future.
“The Board have put a lot of hoops to jump through, although all of them are absolutely necessary and they have been very good,” Gibson said. “But there is quite a bit of infrastructure and procedure needs to be put in place.
“We are hoping to do a show in late July, late August and late September. They will be limited cards but they will be good competitive matches, with some top prospects getting out too.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.