Top British welterweight prospect Josh Kelly kept his undefeated record, routing Poland’s Przemyslaw Runowski over 10 rounds on the Allen-Browne undercard at London’s O2 Arena.
Kelly (9-0, 6 KO) displayed all his flashy athleticism and the awkward angles and quick hands he’s become known for, and dropped Runowski (17-1, 3 KO) three times — once in the second, once in the ninth, and again in the 10th and final round.
Runowski was totally overwhelmed by Kelly’s natural skills and gifts, but the visiting fighter was tough and survived all the way. He didn’t win a round, though, losing on scores of 100-88, 100-89, and 100-89.
“I hurt my hand about halfway through, my right hand,” Kelly said after the fight. “I was happy, but there’s always things to improve on. I got caught with some shots.”
Trainer and manager Adam Booth said that he recently accepted a mandatory position with the EBU for Kelly to get a shot at the European welterweight title, currently held by David Avanesyan (24-3-1, 12 KO). Kelly and Avanesyan were scheduled to fight in December, but that fell through, and Avanesyan instead went to Spain and ripped the European title from Kerman Lejarraga on March 30. That could be a really interesting step-up fight for Kelly. Avanesyan isn’t special, but he’s a legit pro and a solid fighter.
That may not be immediately next, though, as there’s been talk of Kelly traveling to New York for the Anthony Joshua card at Madison Square Garden. Nothing is set in stone, so we’ll see, but Kelly’s closer and closer to a real step up.