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Josh Kelly set for May 13th return at the O2

Kelly has not fought since falling to David Avanesyan in February of last year

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After more than a year on the sidelines, former Olympian Josh Kelly will return to action on May 13th as part of a Wasserman Boxing card on Channel 5.

Kelly (10-1-1, 6 KO), slated to face the terrible TBA, hasn’t fought since a February 2021 loss to David Avanesyan that saw him hurt the latter early but ultimately succumb to his pressure and power. “Pretty Boy” is clearly talented and still under 30, so it will be interesting to see whether he can shake off the mental lapses that have dogged him thus far.

“I am really happy to be on such a big show in a live fight against an undefeated fighter in Brad Pauls,” said Kelly. “I have been working away for this fight since before Christmas and I’m over the moon to finally get the date. People are yet to see the best of Ryan Kelly but for this fight I get full preparation and I’m in the best place for it. It’s my time.”

The biggest fight in the lineup in terms of hardware sees Linus Udolfia (17-0, 9 KO) fight Denzel Bentley (15-1-1, 13 KO) for the vacant British middleweight title. Bentley stopped Mark Heffron for the belt in 2020 before falling to Felix Cash in his first defense.

“This is a massive fight for me. I’ve always wanted to box for the British Title and to get the opportunity to do it headlining a big show on Channel 5 is a dream come true,” said Udofia. “I want to thank my promoters the Sauerland brothers at Wasserman and my manager Steve Goodwin for getting me into this position. Now, it’s time to show everyone what I can do. I’ve seen a lot of Denzel Bentley. He’s a good operator, he’s very slick and I think our styles are going to gel really well. This is going to be a good fight for the public.”

“I’m excited for this opportunity to box for the British Title again,” said Bentley. “I know my opponent Linus Udofia is a good boxer and it’s going to be a real 50-50 fight. I’m expecting a full-blooded, fan-friendly affair. I can’t wait till fight night. I’m itching to prove that I am still one of the best fighters in the division.”

Harlem Eubank (13-0, 5 KO) will also be in action against Sean Dodd (17-6-1, 3 KO) and Brad Pauls (15-0, 9 KO) will take on Ryan Kelly (16-3, 8 KO) for a crack at the Udolfia-Bentley winner.

“I remember watching my cousin Chris on Channel 5 back in the day,” said Eubank. “It feels great to now have the chance to build my career on a big free-to-air platform. It’s going to be the first of many fights on Channel 5, working with the Sauerlands at Wasserman, and it’s a good fight to get started with.

“Sean Dodd is an experienced boxer. He’s been around the game for a long time. He’s tall and rangy and he likes to fight so I think it’s going to be interesting, but I’m going to be more than prepared for what’s in front of me.”

“This is the sort of opportunity I’ve been looking for,” said Dodd. “I felt I was unfairly done by in my last fight, but this is going to be a proper ten round fight and I’m going to make a big statement.”

“I’m glad I’ve finally got my chance on the big stage in a proper fight against someone ranked higher than me,” said Pauls. “There is everything to gain for me with a shot at the British Title on the line. Ryan Kelly is in the way of me getting my dream belt and I’m taking this fight very seriously. I’m happy to get this fight on such a big platform. This is an opportunity for me to put Cornwall on the boxing map.”

“I am really happy to be on such a big show in a live fight against an undefeated fighter in Brad Pauls,” said Kelly. “I have been working away for this fight since before Christmas and I’m over the moon to finally get the date. People are yet to see the best of Ryan Kelly but for this fight I get full preparation and I’m in the best place for it. It’s my time.”