Opportunity knocks for Cromer’s Ryan Walsh after being named in Golden Contract Tournament

Ryan Walsh will compete in the new Golden Contract Tournament later this year. Picture: Jamie Honeyw

Ryan Walsh will compete in the new Golden Contract Tournament later this year. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Ryan Walsh has been announced as one of the fighters to compete in the featherweight edition of the new Golden Contract Tournament.

British featherweight champion, Walsh, has been named alongside Commonwealth champion Leigh Wood and the unbeaten Hairon Socarras in the first wave of fighters to compete in the competition with more names set to be announced soon.

The winner of the tournament will land a two-year, five-fight deal that guarantees six-figure purses for every fight along with global exposure.

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.

Walsh, who recently made his sixth defence of his British title when he defeated Lewis Paulin, believes his experience will give him the edge over his rivals.

"I've entered this tournament because I know that I can win it," said the 33-year-old, from Cromer. "I'm really excited with the opportunity it brings and the activity.

"There are some good fighters in this tournament but I believe my experience will be the major factor towards my success."

MORE: Walsh retains British title with Paulin winThree quarter-finals nights will take place in October and November along with three semi-finals nights in February and March. The all-important finals will be staged in May and June.

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After his split decision win over Paulin in June, Walsh admitted the one thing he craved in boxing was regular bouts, which this competition should provide.

He admitted his inactivity had led him to question whether he could stay at featherweight.

"I can't be waiting six months again, I am not young, I am no spring chicken," said Walsh, who is promoted by MTK Global. "More than anything it is making weight, it is just hard. As you get older you get that little bit better and it is hard to keep shrinking down.

"I can fight anyone, but I can't fight myself. If I can't be active then fighting myself is the hardest bit because each year, I have worked out, since I have been a pro, naturally I have put on 2lb a year, so that is getting harder and harder. I haven't even got two grams to mess about with."