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Carl Greaves: David Avanesyan won’t chase fight with Josh Kelly

Josh Kelly is mandatory for the European welterweight title, but champion David Avanesyan has no plans to chase that fight given their history.

Carl Greaves, trainer for European welterweight champion David Avanesyan, spoke with iFL TV about Avanesyan’s March 30 upset of Kerman Lejarraga and their current position on facing British prospect Josh Kelly.

Greaves says there will be a rematch with Lejarraga (27-1, 22 KO), likely again in Spain, where Lejarraga is a big draw.

“There’s a rematch clause. We’re just waiting on the date to be confirmed for the rematch, but we’re going to be going over again to Bilbao, Spain, as far as I’m aware, and obviously hopefully do the same again,” Greaves said.

Avanesyan (24-3-1, 12 KO) was also in the news in recent months when he was set to fight unbeaten British prospect Josh Kelly this past December in Sheffield, part of the Brook-Zerafa card that night. It was an interesting step-up proposition, and a real step up, too.

On the day of the fight, Kelly reportedly had fallen ill overnight and was removed from the bout. Matchroom said at the time that it would be rescheduled. Greaves hints that maybe there was more to it.

“David’s a risky fight for Josh Kelly style-wise,” he said. “Josh is good, he’s got the ability, the skills, his flash, got the combinations, but fights in bursts and he can’t be doing that with the likes of David. His defense isn’t the best, either, and David can punch, he’s strong. I think they knew that deep down.”

After his recent win over Przemyslaw Runowski, Kelly against Avanesyan has been suggested once again. Trainer and manager Adam Booth said directly after that fight that Kelly has the mandatory position with the EBU, suggesting they’re aiming for that soon enough.

Greaves says the fight is indeed still possible, but that their side won’t chase after a fight with Josh Kelly given the previous experience.

“I’m not ruling it out. Obviously he’s been made mandatory for the European title,” Greaves said. “We’ve got to get around this rematch clause, but as far as we’re aware, (Kelly) has been made mandatory. We’re going to have to look at that situation. I don’t know how it’s going to pan out.

“It was very, very disappointing that night in Sheffield, just before Christmas. David spent a lot of money on camp, took very little money back with him. To do it on the day of the fight when Adam Booth came to the rules meeting — it just stinks, really. They’ve got their reasons. We weren’t happy about it. If it (comes up) again, so be it, but we’re not going to chase that fight after what he did to us last time.”