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EBU orders David Avanesyan to defend welterweight belt against Josh Kelly

the two were set to fight last December before Kelly fell ill

Kell Brook v Michael Zerafa Public Workout - Sheffield Winter Garden Photo by Simon Cooper/PA Images via Getty Images

Four days after a decisive first-round finish of Kerman Lejarraga in their rematch, European welterweight champ David Avanesyan has been ordered to begin negotiations with Josh Kelly, whom he was set to face last December before Kelly withdrew on fight day due to illness. The two have until October 16th before a purse bid will be called.

Avanesyan (25-3-1, 13 KO) appeared to top out just below the world level, dropping a decision to Lamont Peterson in 2017 and suffering a sixth-round stoppage loss to Egidijus Kavaliauskas a year later, but reinvigorated his career with a comeback knockout of Lejarraga in March to earn his title. He needed less than three minutes to repeat the feat, dropping Lejarraga twice this past Saturday.

Kelly (9-0-1, 6 KO) is in need of a boost at the moment. Ray Robinson held him to a draw back in June, so beating the likes of Avanesyan would go a long way towards re=establishing him as someone to watch at 147. It’s up to him whether the risk is worth it, though; he’s not obligated to take this fight, and could instead try to continue his way up through the WBA and WBC rankings where he currently resides. Sure hope he goes for it.