Are the Golden Contract semi-finals really foregone conclusions?

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Bethnal Green’s atmospheric York Hall stages the Golden Contract semi-finals on Friday night – but the bookies appear to have already made their minds up who will be lining up in the Featherweight and Super-Lightweight finals of the tournament.

The eight-man elimination tournament has reached the penultimate stage – with the winners guaranteed a two-year, five fight deal with MTK Global and a guaranteed six-figure purse for each fight … the Golden Contract of the title.

Big punching Ohara Davies lines up against Jeff Ofori in the first televised bout, over 10 rounds.

Davies drew out the golden ball at Tuesday’s draw and was swift to select the competition’s underdog Ofori as his opponent.

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The Londoners had plenty to say to each other at a fractious weigh-in, where Hackney’s ‘Two Tanks’ clocked 9st 13lb 14oz at the second attempt to Tottenham fighter Ofori’s 9st 13lb 5oz.

With a huge right hand and new technical guidance from trainer Angel Fernandez, Davies is favourite to progress but Ofori has proven in his last two fights that he’s not a man to be underestimated.

But tell that to the bookies. Hackney’s Davies has stopped 15 of his 20 pro victims and is a prohibitive 1/8 with thepools.com to reach the super-lightweight final.

Opponent Ofori is a 6/1 underdog after scraping through to this stage with a quarter-final draw against Kieran Gething, the referee awarding the Tottenham man his casting vote for incessant pressure.

The second semi-final sees Belfast’s Tyrone McKenna face Mohamed Mimoune from Toulouse and while the odds are closer in this bout, the Frenchman is still a firm favourite at 4/11 .

Standing six feet one, and a southpaw to boot, McKenna has the tools to prove an awkward opponent for Mimoune and 12/5 to cause an upset should not be discounted.

The first super-featherweight semi-final pitches Ryan Walsh ( 2/7 ) in with the unbeaten Tyrone McCullagh ( 3/1 ).

Walsh plucked out the golden ball at Tuesday’s draw and chose to take on the conundrum that is McCullagh.

The reigning British champion, Walsh is considered the number one candidate in the competition and produced arguably the pick of the quarter-final performances by sweeping aside Hairon Socarras inside the distance.

Headlining the show is the WBO European title collision between Nottingham’s Leigh Wood and Liverpool’s Jazza Dickens.

Animosity surged to the surface at Wednesday’s press conference with Dickens claiming he holds a psychological edge due to an amateur victory over ‘Lethal’.

That claim didn’t impress the bookies, though, who make Wood 1/7 and Dickens a big 5/1 to score an upset.

The action starts live on Sky Sports Boxing’s Facebook page from 5.55pm and the main card on Sky Sports Action (UK) and ESPN+ from 7.30pm.

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