The British Boxing Board of Control this week ordered a British 154 lb title fight between champion Troy Williamson and Josh Kelly, and Williamson is hoping that his friend Kelly will take the fight and not go another direction.
Williamson (18-0-1, 13 KO) took the belt with a tremendous performance last October, overpowering the always-game Ted Cheeseman for a 10th round stoppage in Liverpool. He made a successful defense on Mar. 25, coming off the canvas twice to out-point Mason Cartwright over 12.
“It’s a great fight, especially for the North East,” he said. “I’ve known Josh since our amateur days and we are friends outside of the ring, but that will have to be put to one side if we fight.
“He’s got all the talent in the world and a big following, so this would be a huge occasion. I posted on social media after hearing the news and everybody is already getting excited for this fight. I just hope Josh takes the fight and isn’t like all the others who just want easy fights.”
Kelly (11-1-1, 7 KO), the 28-year-old former welterweight prospect and 2016 Olympian, has fallen out of the spotlight a bit since his loss to David Avanesyan in early 2021, but he just returned to action on a Wasserman card on June 17, stopping Peter Kramer. He’s currently slated to go again on July 30, in what looks on paper to be another tune-up sort of fight.
In theory, Kelly could have that fight and accept an early autumn date with Williamson, who is confident he’s got the better game.
“I’m a proven 12 round fighter who is strong at the weight,” he said. “And as everyone has seen, I get stronger as the fight goes on. I am a lot stronger and fitter than Josh and that will tell over the distance.”
Williamson also took a slight shot at JJ Metcalf, who recently was ordered for a fight with Williamson but turned it down.
“I’m disappointed JJ Metcalf withdrew from our fight,” he stated. “He’s said that fighting me for the British title is a backwards step but I don’t blame Eddie Hearn for not wanting to put him in with me, I’ve already stopped Ted Cheeseman, and I would have done the same to Metcalf.”