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Josh Kelly focused on David Avanesyan, but open to fighting Conor Benn in 2021

Conor Benn isn’t Josh Kelly’s priority right now, but the fight could be a big one to make in 2021.

Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

With Conor Benn scoring an impressive 10-round decision win over Sebastian Formella on Saturday, the second generation standout made clear to Eddie Hearn and TV viewers that he’s got one fight he really wants, a matchup with Josh Kelly in 2021.

“The only big domestic I want is Kelly,” Benn (17-0, 11 KO) said after the fight. “People saying I’m scared and all that, stop talking rubbish. Do I look like a scared fighter? Nah. They should have taken their chance when they could, because I’m on the up.”

Kelly (10-0-1, 6 KO), however, has his actual next fight on his mind first, as he’s slated to face David Avanesyan for the European welterweight title, likely as part of Matchroom’s Jan. 30 event, which will feature the Povetkin-Whyte rematch:

Adam Booth echoed those sentiments, also saying that a Kelly-Benn fight later in 2021 could be a big one, which promoter Eddie Hearn also suggested for the summer of next year.

But Booth gave Benn, 24, his respect for a solid win on Saturday, too.

“(Benn) is adding to his game rapidly, and he has to, because he wants the big fights soon. So massive kudos to him. With regards to Josh, we’ve got one name on our mind and that’s David Avanesyan. That is all we care about, that’s European championship and a top 10 ranking in the world. That’s where Josh is at the moment, and I’ve been told that’s the end of January. Josh will fight anyone, and domestically the scene is nice and hot, and Conor’s a great, entertaining, explosive addition to it.”

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