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Josh Kelly wants fight with Brandon Rios

The Commonwealth welterweight champ wants to face the American slugger.

Boxing at Metro Radio Arena Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Before last weekend, Brandon Rios was looking to head to the United Kingdom and Wembley Stadium for a fight with Sam Eggington on the Joshua-Povetkin card on September 22.

But Eggington lost a shocker to Hassan Mwakinyo on the Khan-Vargas bill, and that fight with Rios is, obviously, not taking place.

Another Brit, however, says he’d be happy to face Rios in November, and that’s Commonwealth champion and top prospect Josh Kelly.

“I’m not scared of anyone and this is boxing at the end of the day, I’m in the sport to be the best. Rios can come and get it. ... I want to get to a point where I can’t afford to switch off, that’s when the best version of me comes out and it’ll happen once I step up. Rios is a fighter that’ll force it out of me, he’s been there, done it and will keep me switched on. I know he’ll make me go through the levels and gears. It’s what I want and need.”

Rios (34-4-1, 25 KO) is coming off of a TKO loss to Danny Garcia in February, his first serious fight since he was trounced by Tim Bradley in 2015. He showed the old Rios fire against Garcia but wound up outgunned, as was expected.

Kelly (7-0, 5 KO) has been terrific thus far as a pro, and Rios would be a good and ambitious next step for him. They haven’t been shy about matching him relatively tough thus far, so maybe we will see Kelly and Rios in November.

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