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Josh Kelly discusses postponement of David Avanesyan fight

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By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn and Josh Kelly spoke earlier on Friday about the canceled fight against EBU welterweight champion David Avanesyan. Kelly (10-0, 6 KOs) and Avaneysan (26-3, 14 KOs) were scheduled to fight on March 28 on Sky Sport a the O2 Arena in a Matchroom Boxing card.


On the instructions by the UK government and the British Boxing Board of Control postponed the Kelly vs. Avanesyan fight scheduled for March 28. Indeed, they also postponed all shows in March and April, which effected Matchroom’s March 28, April 4, and April 24 shows.

The 2016 Olympian Kelly was looking forward to his fight against former WBA welterweight champion Avanesyan, considering those guys were previously supposed to fight, but it failed to happen.  Kelly had already put in a lot of work in training camp and was ready for the fight. Now all Kelly can do is wait until boxing restarts.

Kelly disappointed

“Your fight was the first one canceled,” said Hearn to Kelly on Instagram about his canceled fight with Avanesyan. “It was unlucky because I spoke to Adam [Booth], and he said you were flying in training. How disappointing was that?”

“I was flying, I was,” said Kelly. “That was disappointing. I did everything and more. I can’t complain because we had that last time, but this time it was on a much higher level. It’s hard because I was coming to a good peak, and then to mimic that camp again could be hard. And I got to try and do that again,” said Kelly.

“How hard is it get that motivation for a fight that you just don’t know when that date’s coming?” said Hearn to Kelly.

“I’m seeing it when you’ve been out of the gym for 12 weeks, and then you come in, and you go to try and turn around for a hard fight,” said Kelly. “It’s going to be hard work. It’s going to be postponed until the summertime somewhere around there. It could be further. I don’t know. It’s a nightmare, man,” said Kelly on his fight against Avanesyan.

All the hard work that Kelly put into training camp for the Avanesyan fight has gone to waste. In listening to Kelly talk, he sounded like he would have a hard time getting motivated for another grueling camp. This will be the third time that Kelly and Avanesyan will have been scheduled to fight, and it’s understandable why Kelly isn’t thrilled with doing it one more time.

It might be better for Kelly to move on and face someone else. He can forget about his bad experiences trying to fight Avaneysan, and start with a fresh outlook.

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Avanesyan an essential fight for Kelly

“That was a fight that was looking forward to the most. Everyone was talking about that fight,” said Hearn on the Kelly vs. Avaneysan clash. “It was the perfect test. Avanesyan is a real handful. But that is the fight to take you to European championship and probably top 10 in every governing body’s as well,” said Hearn.

“That fight just elevates me, and with the platform, I’ve got, you never know what happens,” said Kelly. “It”s a massive step up. I think everyone knows what type of fighter David Avanesyan is. I don’t think the casual fans knew who he was and the credit he was due. He’s a quality fighter,” said Kelly.

“There’s another guy that you generally have a little beef, and bad words said backward and forwards,” said Hearn to Kelly. “With you and Conor Benn, I know there’s rivalry, but there seems to be respect as well. Your amateur pedigree is, on the whole, another level than his. He came out with his old man’s name, and he’s grafting well.

“We’re starting to see improvements in there, and people are starting to give him a chance to beat you or even be in a competitive fight with you as well. That fight, if you both keep winning, could be a huge fight for 2021,” said Hearn about a fight between Kelly and Benn.

“I’d love that fight,” said Kelly. “He’s coming on, and he’s got a good name. That would do well in a stadium.”

A win for Kelly over Avanesyan will put him in position to challenge for a world title. It would give Kelly his biggest career win over a dangerous opponent, but more importantly, it would push him up the rankings. It’s going to be a tough fight, though.

Hearn wants Kelly vs. Ritson

“You against Lewis Ritson has all the ingredients,” said Hearn in discussing a Kelly vs. Ritson fight. We know he has massive support in Newcastle. It’s sometimes tricky to stick yu both into an arena in Newcastle. To do that fight, whether Lewis comes up from 140 or you some down a pound or two to whatever, I just feel that you against Lewis Ritson, if you both get to world level, it’s a puncher’s chance,” said Kelly.

“Unbelievable, that sells out any stadium,” said Kelly on a fight against Ritson. “That sells out Newcastle as well. It’s one for the future if Lewis wants to move up,” said Kelly.

If Kelly beats Avanesyan, it would be a backward step for him to fight Lewis Ritson or Conor Benn. They would be nice paydays for Kelly, but they wouldn’t further his goal to challenge for a world title against one of the 147-pound champions Benn and Ritson are domestic level fighters, who have a long way to go before they’re ready to take strict tests.


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