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Josh Kelly sick, pulls out of David Avanesyan fight

Kell Brook Brook vs. Zerafa David Avanesyan Josh Kelly Michael Zerafa


By Trevor McIntyre: Welterweight contender Josh Kelly (8-0, 6 KOs) has pulled out of his fight for tonight against former WBA ‘regular’ 147 lb champion David Avanesyan due to illness, according to Sky Sports News. Kelly, 24, was supposed to be fighting Avanesyan in the feature bout on the Kell Brook vs. Michael Zerafa card on Sky Sports at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England. Kelly-Avaneysan will be rescheduled at a later date as soon as Kelly is well.

While Kelly vs. Avanesyan wasn’t expected to be the greatest of fights, it still would have made for a moderately interesting fight in terms of entertainment.


2016 Olympian Kelly suffered the illness last Friday night. Rather than take the risk of fighting the Russian Avanesyan at less than 100%, Kelly pulled out of the contest much to the disappointment of his many boxing fans. It’s too bad Kelly won’t be fighting tonight, since his match with Avanesyan was one of the more compelling bouts on the card. The main event between Kell Brook and Michael Zerafa is expected to be a one-sided affair from start to finish in favor of Kell.

There’s no guesswork involved in predicting the winner of the Brook vs. Zerafa fight. As long a Brook’s eye sockets hold up, he wins that fight with flying colors. Even if Brook does blowout another eye socket along the way, he still likely destroys Zerafa with ease. This is another opponent that has been carefully selected by Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn to ensure there’s no hiccups along the way towards his hoped for career-high payday fight against Amir Khan in early 2019. That fight still hasn’t been put together by Hearn, but he’s going to pull out the stops in trying to make the fight once Brook gets Zerafa out of the way tonight.

This is from Matchroom Boxing social media about the cancellation of the Kelly vs. Avanesyan fight:

“Breaking news: @JOSHPBK is out of his fight tonight with David Avanesyan after falling ill overnight. The fight will be rescheduled and we wish PBK [‘Pretty Boy’ Josh Kelly] a speedy recovery #KellyAvanesyan #BrookZerafa — Matchroom Boxing (@Matchroom Boxing) December 8, 2018.”

Kelly is a fighter that Hearn believes is on his way to super-stardom, and capturing a world titles at 147. However, there are many boxing fans that believe that Kelly’s fellow Matchroom Boxing stable-mate Daniyar Yeleussinov is the one that will actually capture world titles at welterweight in the future, and will become a superstar. Yeleussinov isn’t from the UK though. He’s from Kazakhstan. As such, Kelly has an arguably better chance of becoming a star in the UK despite being less talented than Yeleussinov. Sometimes you don’t have to be a great fighter to become a star in the UK. Look at Tony Bellew as an example of that. He was clearly never as good as the best cruiserweights in the division, and yet he still made a fortune during his career, thanks to the match-making by Hearn.


Brook says that his fight with Zerafa fight tonight could be his last in Sheffield. Brook believes that he’s going to be moving on to world championship fights at 147 an 154, which will be taking place outside of the UK. Given his mediocre opponent in Zerafa, Brook needs to look good tonight to be viewed as a real player at 147 or 154. Brook weighed in at 150 pounds at last Friday’s weigh-in. Brook then proudly announced that he was only three pounds away from making the welterweight limit of 147, which is where he’ll need to be for him to get fights against the likes of Amir ‘King’ Khan, Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. Brook might make the weight for those fights, but it doesn’t mean he’ll be able to fight at a high enough level to beat any of them. Brook already lost to Spence last year after he quit in the 11th round on one knee. The year before that, Brook quit in the 5th round against former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in September 2016. Brook quit throwing punches, and was playing the boxing version of dodge ball in trying to avoid all the incoming shots from a gleeful looking GGG.

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