Though the planned European welterweight title fight between David Avanesyan and Josh Kelly has been postponed from its Mar. 28 date, the fight is expected to happen whenever things get back to some semblance of normal and boxing resumes.
With the fight in mind, Kelly’s countryman Kell Brook warns Josh not to take the veteran Avanesyan lightly.
“I’ve sparred with the guy and he’s a real handful,” Brook told Sky Sports. “You can give him some big licks but he keeps coming and he adjusts. He’s a gatekeeper to see exactly where you are. And he’s got better.”
Avanesyan (26-3-1, 14 KO) is a gatekeeper, as Brook says, and a good one at that. The 31-year-old Russian went on a tear in Spain last year, stopping Kerman Lejarraga twice and Jose del Rio in December.
Kelly (10-0-1, 6 KO) is a prospect Matchroom have high hopes for, but he struggled last year in a draw against the crafty vet Ray Robinson, though he did bounce back for a clear win in December over Wiston Campos.
Avanesyan-Kelly is a really good matchup at the European level that should tell us more about Kelly and how good he really is, and it’s one everyone should look forward to being rescheduled. And it’s hard not to agree with Brook, too: Kelly absolutely can’t take Avanesyan lightly. He may not be a superstar, but he’s always up for a fight.
As for the 33-year-old Brook (39-2, 27 KO), he sat out all of 2019 and made a return on Feb. 8, predictably stopping the overmatched but tough Mark DeLuca in the seventh round in Sheffield. Now fighting at 154 pounds, the former welterweight titleholder has been expected to fight Liam Smith next time out, though as with all ideas at the moment, that’s on hold.