Light Heavyweight Golden Contract Quarterfinals
& MTK Global Kazakhstan Bill Exclusively On ESPN+
Boxing’s most action-packed single-elimination tournament —
The Golden Contract — returns Saturday from the Brentwood
Centre in Brentwood, England, with the quarterfinals of the
light heavyweight tournament.
The action begins at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT live on ESPN+, the
leading multi-sport streaming service. The semifinal and
championship bouts of the three Golden Contract tournaments
(featherweight, super lightweight and light heavyweight)
will stream on ESPN+ in 2020.
The eight fighters in the light heavyweight bracket are as
follows: former British champion Hosea “The Hammer” Burton
(24-1, 11 KOs), former British and Commonwealth champion Bob
“Lionheart” Ajisafe (19-3, 9 KOs), Steven “The Quiet Man”
Ward (12-0, 4 KOs), Liam Conroy (17-5-1, 9 KOs), Serge
“Bavarian Sniper” Michel (9-1, 7 KOs), Latvian veteran
Ricards Bolotniks (15-5-1, 6 KOs), Andre Sterling (10-1, 4
KOs) and Scottish prospect Tommy Philbin (13-0, 4 KOs).
The quarterfinal draw was set Wednesday afternoon and will
feature the following bouts: Sterling vs. Conroy, Ward vs.
Bolotniks, Philbin vs. Michel and Burton vs. Ajisafe.
Many of Kazakhstan’s top prospects will fight in a highly
anticipated homecoming celebration from Baluan Sholak Sports
Palace in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In the main-event, WBC
International lightweight champion Viktor Kotochigov (10-0,
4 KOs) will face former South American lightweight champion
Javier Jose Clavero (27-5, 5 KOs) in a 10-rounder.
Kotochigov, who signed with MTK Global earlier this year,
has already fought in seven nations during his career. The
world traveler returns home for the third time in the paid
ranks for his fourth outing of 2019. A former amateur
standout, Kotochigov has fought at lightweight and super
lightweight as a pro, most recently defeating Jairo Lopez
over 10 rounds to win the WBC International lightweight
belt. Clavero, from Cordoba, Argentina, has won five of his
last six and will be making only his third ring appearance
away from his home country.
In other action on the ESPN+ stream:
•Kazakh prospect Iskander Kharsan (7-0, 6 KOs), who is
coming off an impressive TKO victory over Isidro Ochoa on
the Tyson Fury-Otto-Wallin card in Las Vegas, will face
Cameroonian veteran Thomas Essomba (9-5, 3 KOs) in an
eight-round bantamweight clash.
•Sultan Zaurbek (8-0, 6 KOs), a former Kazakh amateur
sensation, will fight for the sixth time this year against
Chinese veteran Leshan Li (16-3-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-round
junior lightweight tilt. In the unpaid ranks, Zaurbek
defeated the likes of 2016 Brazilian Olympic gold medalist
•2016 Olympic gold medalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (7-1, 4
KOs) will make his return against Jose Guadalupe Rosales
(38-22, 20 KOs) in an eight-round junior welterweight bout.
•In a six-round middleweight fight, Kazakh prospect Abay
Tolesh (4-0, 3 KOs) will face Czech veteran Tomas Bezvoda
(8-10, 5 KOs).