David Avanesyan vs Josh Kelly is finally set to go ahead on Saturday after TWO YEARS in the making: EVERYTHING you need to know as ‘Pretty Boy’ looks to set up a clash with Conor Benn
- Josh Kelly and David Avanesyan will finally go head-to head on Saturday night
- The pair were first scheduled to fight in 2018 but Kelly was forced to pull out
- It is a drastic step-up for Kelly, who looks to win the European welterweight title
- Should Kelly win, a mouth-watering clash with Conor Benn could be up next
After two years in the making, Josh Kelly and David Avanesyan will finally go head-to-head in a European welterweight title fight on Saturday night.
The match-up was first scheduled back in December 2018, only for Kelly to withdraw on the day of the fight due to illness.
The pair were then scheduled to meet once more in March of last year, before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic enforced another postponement.
Eddie Hearn announced on Wednesday that both fighters – who are now in a fight bubble – have tested negative for Covid-19, meaning the fight will finally go ahead – fingers crossed there won’t be any more last-minute hiccups.
The fight is a crucial one in the career of Kelly, who has perhaps underwhelmed since turning professional following a promising amateur career, in which he made it to the last 16 at the 2016 Rio Olympics, before being beaten by the eventual winner Daniyar Yeleussinov.
Nevertheless, Kelly has a chance to prove himself in his perhaps his first real litmus test in the welterweight division, with European champion Avanesyan arguably the favourite coming into the bout.
Should Kelly overcome his more experienced opponent, a mouth-watering domestic clash with Conor Benn could come next.
A focused Josh Kelly prepares for his biggest test against David Avanesyan on Saturday
Kelly fought on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs Ruiz 1 in Madison Square Garden in 2019
After boxing made a dramatic return in Britain last weekend as featherweight No1 Josh Warrington was inexplicably knocked out by the previously unheard of Mauricio Lara, we have another intriguing card ahead on Saturday night.
Kelly and Avanesyan are headlining a packed event, with the main card starting from around 7pm, while the main event rink walk is scheduled for around 10pm.
As it did last weekend, the action will once again take place at an almost-empty SSE Arena, with fans still prohibited from watching the action live.
David Avanesyan vs Josh Kelly: How to watch the fight?
The card will be shown live on Sky Sports Arena, with the main event also available on Sky Sports Main Event.
Subscribers can also stream the event live on Sky Go, which is available on a variety of devices.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a subscription you can buy a Sky Sports day pass from NowTV for £9.99, with a month pass at £33.99.
For those outside of the UK and Ireland – other than anyone in New Zealand or Australia – the fight will be available to watch on DAZN, which will cost just £1.99-a-month should you want to sign up.
Who is David Avanesyan?
Many are fancying David Avanesyan to hand Josh Kelly the first defeat of his pro career
For those who don’t know as much about David Avanesyan, Kelly will be entering the ring with a serious operator on Saturday night.
The 32-year-old is the reigning European welterweight champion, a title he actually claimed after his initial bout with kelly fell through.
Avanesyan stopped Kerman Lejarraga in the ninth round to win the title, before knocking him out in the first round in their following rematch.
The Russian has continued to look a fierce competitor since, recording yet another one-round knockout over Jose del Rio towards the back-end of 2019.
Put simply, Avanesyan can punch. With 14 knockouts from his 26 wins, there is power behind those fists.
Avanesyan does have three losses on his record, however, with Lamont Peterson being the notable name.
He does also have a points with over Sugar Shane Mosely, though that was to be the final fight of his career, aged 44.
David Avanesyan vs Josh Kelly: The records
Height: 5 ft 8in
Last fight: Jose del Rio KO (Dec 2019)
Height: 5ft 10in
Last fight: Wiston Campos UD (Dec 2019)
David Avalnesyan vs Josh Kelly card in full
- David Avanesyan vs. Josh Kelly, 12 rounds at Welterweight
- Robbie Davies Jr. vs. Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela, 10 rounds at junior welterweight
- Florian Marku vs. Rylan Charlton, 10 rounds at welterweight
- Johnny Fisher vs. Matt Gordon, 6 rounds at heavyweight
- Jordan Gill vs. Cesar Juarez, 10 rounds at featherweight
David Avanesyan vs Josh Kelly: The odds
Despite the disparity in experience between the two, the bookies are actually favouring Kelly in this one.
Kelly comes in as the 8/11 favourite, while Avanesyan is down at 5/4 to win.
It’s an interesting offer, with many in the industry believing this is a stern test for Kelly.
*Odds from OddsChecker and are correct at the time of publication.
Up next for Kelly: Conor Benn?
Indeed, Avanesyan represents a significant step-up in levels for Kelly, but should he prevail, a high-profile clash with Conor Benn could be in the pipeline.
Following Benn’s highly impressive points win over Sebastian Formella, he immediately turned his attention towards Kelly, insisting the Olympian is the only fighter he wants next.
‘You’ve got all of these fighters calling me out, I’m only interested in one fight and that’s Josh Kelly,’ Benn told Sky Sports. ‘That’s the only fight I’m interested in.’
Eddie Hearn, who promotes Benn, also chipped in, stating: ‘Josh Kelly will fight David Avanesyan in January.
‘If he gets through that test, and Conor will have one more, that is an absolute blockbuster for the summer. It’s a massive domestic fight.’
However, while Benn is desperate for Kelly to overcome the challenge ahead of him, the 24-year-old is not convinced he will.
‘I believe Avanesyan might be too much,’ Benn told Sky Sports. ‘I can only go on their last two performances and Avanesyan’s were great, [they] were outstanding.’
He added: ‘If he lives up to the hype and praise that everyone gives him, he’ll come through with flying colours and really show what he is made of. He will rise to the occasion.
‘But Avanesyan is an animal.’
Meanwhile, even if Kelly does get the win, Benn has a match-up with Samuel Vargas to negotiate on April 10 first.
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