Josh Kelly vs. Jean Michel Hamilcaro – Results
By Scott Gilfoid: 2016 Olympian Josh ‘Pretty Boy’ Kelly (5-0, 4 KOs) picked up an easy win on Wednesday night in stopping an over-matched 31-year-year-old Jean Michel Hamilcaro (25-9-3, 6 KOs) of France in the 6th round at York Hall in Bethnal Green, in London, UK.
Hamilcaro twice took a knee in round 6 to get out of the fight in their junior middleweight fight. The first knockdown was from a body shot from the 23-year-old Kelly. Referee Ian John Lewis stopped the fight due to Hamilcaro taking knees from body shots. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:06 of round 6.
In the 1st round, Kelly fought with his hands down by his side, peppering Hamilcaro with mostly single shots. Kelly looked like he was mainly interested in showboating for the crowd. He wasn’t seriously going after Hamilcaro to get him out of there, which he probably could have done had he wanted to. When Hamilcaro would move forward to try and attack, Kelly would back away quickly to avoid getting hit.
Kelly started to unload more in round 2 in connecting with some nice shots to the head and body of Hamilcaro. The body shots seemed to give Hamilcaro the most problems. He couldn’t take the punches downstairs well. Hamilcaro looked like he was in distress each time he would get hit to the body. It would have been wise for Hamilcaro to throw punches back at Kelly, but that wasn’t what he was all about. Hamilcaro was just there to take punishment, and not put up a fight.
In round 3, Kelly landed a nice uppercut to the head of Hamilcaro that got the boxing fans excited. Hamilcaro wasn’t throwing anything back though, so it was difficult to see Kelly doing anything special with the weak opponent that he had. Kelly looked fast in the 3rd round in throwing his shots, but he didn’t have a good junior middleweight inside the ring with him in Jermell Charlo. Had it been Charlo, I think we’d see Kelly having problems like he did in the 2016 Olympics.
Kelly spent most of the fight with his hands down by his waist, trying to lure Hamilcaro to throw punches back at him. When Hamilcaro would throw something, Kelly would move his head to avoid the shots rather than raising his gloves to block the punches. Kelly fought like this the entire fight. He wasn’t raising his arms to block punches. Kelly’s fighting style is similar to Michael Conlan. Both guys have a nasty habit of keeping their hands by their sides, daring their opponents to throw something at them. Kelly got away with fighting like this tonight, but he’s going to have problems if he ever faces a good junior middleweight like Jermall Charlo, Erislandy Lara or Jarrett Hurd. Those guys will KO Kelly if he doesn’t raise his guard to block punches. If the idea is for Kelly o fight at a domestic level his entire career, he’ll likely be OK, but he’s not going to do well at the world level fighting with his hands down. Kelly is not Vasyl Lomachenko. He doesn’t have that kind of talent, as we saw during his amateur career.
It wasn’t much of a fight unfortunately. Hamilcaro was mostly running, taking shots and not fighting back. It was a showcase fight, which was pretty much useless in helping Kelly develop as a pro. Kelly’s management did him no favors by matching him against a punching bag. Kelly had a fairly long amateur background. He’s had more than enough fights for him to be fighting better opposition than Hamilcaro. As an amateur, Kelly would look good most of the time, but then the wheels would come off when he was matched against good fighters from Cuban, Russian, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Kelly is not the finished product, and he needs to fight better opposition for him to fix the flaws in his game that caused him to lose each time he’d step up as amateur. Kelly never fixed those flaws, and he certainly wasn’t improving his game with the punching bag he was matched up against tonight in Hamilcaro.
“I thought that it would go the ten rounds, I was trying not to load up too much. I learnt a lot, but I did think it would be a tougher test. It was nice to get out at York Hall,” said Kelly to skysports.com. “I’m ready whenever Adam Booth and Eddie Hearn think I’m ready to step up. Hamilcaro had experience but he didn’t really come to win, I had to close him down, he was tough and took shots. The body shots eventually got me the victory.”
It would be nice to see Kelly step it up soon, because he’s being wasted fighting the guys that his promoter Eddie Hearn and trainer Adam Booth are feeding him. If Kelly is going to be fed fodder for the next 30 fights before he’s stepped up, he’s still going to find out what he’d discover now if he fought the quality fighters in the junior middleweight division. I don’t see Kelly being ready to fight the best because he’s facing such horrible opposition.