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James dielhenn

Senior boxing reporter @JamesDielhenn

Josh Kelly challenges David Avanesyan for the European welterweight title Saturday night at 7 p.m. live on Sky Sports – but is he ready for a groundbreaking performance despite Josh Warrington making him want to lose?

Last updated: 19/02/21 19:10 pm



Josh Kelly could win fights against Amir Khan, Kell Brook or Conor Benn, says Eddie Hearn |  Boxing News







2:18

“ Pressure, pressure, pressure ” – Josh Kelly on what to expect

“ Pressure, pressure, pressure ” – Josh Kelly on what to expect

Josh Kelly has huge fights with Amir Khan, Kell Brook or Conor Benn being tangled up in front of him, but the memory of Josh Warrington’s shock loss KO looms over Saturday’s fight.

Kelly challenges David Avanesyan’s European welterweight title tonight from 7pm, live on Sky Sports – it is, by far, the most difficult test of the impressive rise of the young hopeful.

Worryingly, Warrington, who lost his unbeaten record in a big surprise a week ago, foresees the same dire fate for Kelly.

Josh Kelly could win fights against Amir Khan, Kell Brook or Conor Benn, says Eddie Hearn |  Boxing News

Josh Kelly could win fights against Amir Khan, Kell Brook or Conor Benn, says Eddie Hearn |  Boxing News 0:58
The fiery face-to-face of the weigh-in!

The fiery face-to-face of the weigh-in!

The prize offered to the undefeated former Olympian from Sunderland is the best career victory, the bragging rights of a heated rivalry, the European belt and entry into an all-British dream fight.

“The conversation was about Amir Khan and Kell Brook,” promoter Eddie Hearn revealed.

“So you start to think, ‘How tall is Benn vs. Khan? How tall is Kelly vs. Brook? “

“Khan and Brook might be thinking, ‘What have they done already?’

“But that’s what Brook suffered with when Khan didn’t want to fight him.

“So if the money is right and the interest is there, maybe these guys will watch.”

Kelly vs. Benn would be this generation’s equivalent of the lost fight between Brook and Khan – the motivation will be not to pass up the opportunity, as the elderly duo did.

“We have to look at fighters nationally and internationally who would be suitable for huge shows against Kelly and Benn,” Hearn said. “We can’t just say, ‘the only plan is to fight against each other.’

“If Kelly wins, that’s a major statement and he becomes a major player in the division. If Benn keeps improving, the guy will be a big star.”

American welterweight prospect Vergil Ortiz Jr said Sky Sports about facing Kelly: “It would definitely be a good fight. I’ve seen people talk about a fight between him and me. I do not see why.

Josh Kelly could win fights against Amir Khan, Kell Brook or Conor Benn, says Eddie Hearn |  Boxing News

Josh Kelly could win fights against Amir Khan, Kell Brook or Conor Benn, says Eddie Hearn |  Boxing News 0:24
Vergil Ortiz Jr’s advice to Josh Kelly

Vergil Ortiz Jr’s advice to Josh Kelly

Josh Kelly could win fights against Amir Khan, Kell Brook or Conor Benn, says Eddie Hearn |  Boxing News

Josh Kelly could win fights against Amir Khan, Kell Brook or Conor Benn, says Eddie Hearn |  Boxing News 5:33
Conor Benn called Josh Kelly

Conor Benn called Josh Kelly

Kelly and Avanesyan meet tonight in a fight that has been brewing for two years and has been postponed twice amid a hailstorm of insults and accusations.

A year ago, a fake Valentine’s Day rose had passed from Avanesyan’s squad to Kelly’s – this week the atmosphere took on that of a real grudge match.

Hearn has dubbed Kelly ‘Pretty Boy’ and says he looks like he’s starring in a James Bond movie, but the welterweight arrived unshaven, unmaintained and wears a strange Russian knockout machine-like. Artur Beterbiev. It’s a declaration of intent from Kelly.

It’s his fight to shake off preconceptions that his outrageous talent can be suppressed by a lack of harshness or courage.

Avanesyan, a high-profile Russian brought in to found his career in Nottingham, heads into tonight’s fight on the crest of a wave after dismantling three consecutive opponents in 2019 in their home country.

Like never before, the prospect of a British candidate having his ambitions sorely crushed has felt so real.

Josh Kelly could win fights against Amir Khan, Kell Brook or Conor Benn, says Eddie Hearn |  Boxing News

Josh Kelly can become European champion

Josh Kelly could win fights against Amir Khan, Kell Brook or Conor Benn, says Eddie Hearn |  Boxing News

Josh Warrington says Josh Kelly will lose

Warrington, eliminated last week by Mauricio Lara, said Sky Sports: “Avanesyan is a top talent. Even though Kelly is incredibly talented, he is stepping up.

“I don’t think Kelly can get away with this.

“Avanesyan will give him a tough and difficult fight.

“It will be interesting to see if Kelly can deliver her skills. If he does, wow. There will be no stopping it.

“But I think Avanesyan could stop him in his tracks.”

But Kelly appeared robust and spoke mature all week, as if he was ready to step into the peak years of his career by going through the rough times that surely await him on Saturday night.

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