Conor Benn: “He will come back, but he has to sit down and wonder how much he wants it.” The Sunderland fighter was stopped by David Avanesyan in the sixth round of their European welterweight title fight
Last updated: 02/21/21 00:03 am
Conor Benn says Josh Kelly has to question his desire after suddenly flexing to a sixth-round stoppage loss to David Avanesyan in their European title fight.
The Sunderland fighter suffered the first loss of his professional career as Avanesyan knocked him down twice to force his coach Adam Booth to throw in the towel at SSE Arena in Wembley.
Benn had been lined up as Kelly’s future opponent, but admitted he wasn’t surprised by his British rival’s defeat.
“Kelly looked crisp and precise at first, but Avanesyan found her,” said Benn, who was part of the Sky Sports team.
“Kelly has all the skills. He’s naturally good. Why does he always explode after four or five rounds? I’m drained for him.”
“Kelly is good for four, five, six. But then he goes to bed. That’s what happened.
“He will come back. But he has to sit down and wonder how much he wants it.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn insisted Kelly could still reach the top level, but acknowledged Avanesyan’s relentless aggression,
“Kelly had a wonderful camp, was in the shape of her life, but Avanesyan wouldn’t be turned down,” Hearn said.
“He was too hard.
“We saw an elite welterweight against a very good prospect that can go world class.
“But he was passed, passed.
“You could see Kelly unraveling. Adam Booth did a great job throwing in the towel.”
The Russian had to wait for Kelly, with the fight being postponed twice, and Hearn believes Avanesyan should win a fight against one of the biggest names in the division.
“Avanesyan should get a chance for the world title,” Hearn said. “Shawn Porter, Terence Crawford, Errol Spence, Danny Garcia?”