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David Avanesyan vs. Josh Kelly on Feb.20th

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By Barry Holbrook: The date is now set for David Avanesyan to defend his EBU welterweight title against Josh Kelly on February 20th. Eddie Hearn will be announcing the fight.

These two fighters have been scheduled numerous times before and never made it into the ring. Now we’re about to get this one out of the way finally, and it’ll be fun to see how if the 2016 Olympian Kelly (10-0-1, 6 KOs) can outbox Avanesyan (26-3-1, 14 KOs).

Avanesyan’s EBU title has little importance compared to the rankings in the welterweight division. The winner of the Avanesyan vs. Kelly fight will be pushed up the 147-lb rankings and increase their chances of getting a lucrative title shot against IBF/WBC welterweight champ Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr.

Avanesyan is ranked #6 IBF, #7 WBC at 147, and if he can beat the 26-year-old Kelly, it’ll push him higher in the rankings.

Avanesyan has developed into a great body puncher

Avanesyan is a much better fighter on paper, and he’ll likely beat Kelly without any problems. Avanesyan’s emphasis on body punching makes him a disaster waiting to happen for Kelly, who’s specially is to dodge headshots.

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Kelly has never faced anyone before that has targeted his body, and he may not last long once Avanesyan starts hitting him in the breadbasket.

Avanesyan has changed his entire game around in the last two years, learning how to attack the body, and he’s quickly become one of the best inside fighters in the 147lb division.

Recent fights by Avanesyan:

  • Jose Del Rio – KO 1
  • Kerman Lejarraga – TKO 1
  • Kerman Lejarraga  TKO 9

For Josh Kelly, this is his chance to show whether he’s got the talent to fight on the world stage against B-level talent. We’ve seen Kelly look truly pedestrian in his last three fights against Wiston Campos, Ray Robinson, and Przemyslaw Runowski.

Many boxing fans would agree that Kelly deserved a loss in his bout against Ray Robinson, but he was given a 10 round draw. Some believe Kelly received a draw because of his Olympic pedigree and him being one of Hearn’s fighters.

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Kelly’s made poor decisions in the Robinson fight by choosing to fight with his back against the ropes and keeping his hands down by his side.

The troubling thing about Kelly is he hasn’t improved since turning professional in 2017. He’s still showboating, fighting with his hands down by his sides, and getting nailed by hard shots from his C-level opposition.

Kelly’s trainer Adam Booth should have had a long talk with him years ago to let him know that he lacks the reflexes needed to fight with his hands down by his sides.

Fighters like Roy Jones Jr could get away with fighting with his hands down early in his career, but he was blessed with reflexes. Kelly is too slow in getting out of the way of shots, which has made his fights against his unremarkable opposition tougehr than they should have been.




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