M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool - The wait was finally over as the Liverpool crowd stood to cheer Josh Kelly back to the squared circle for the first time in over a year.
It was Kelly's first bout at junior middleweight. And his first ring return since suffering a stoppage loss in six rounds at the hands of David Avanesyan back in February of last year.
His opponent, Peter Kramer, had shown up to become a banana skin and use his durability and experience to spoil the party. This was not the case, as Kelly wore the Hungarian down with a blend of speed, movement and some hard-hitting uppercuts that inevitably saw the referee wave off proceedings in the fourth round.
“Nothing ever replicates fight night – training for it, travelling away to arenas, preparing in the changing rooms. Nothing replicates it,” said Kelly.
“Round after round, I could feel myself getting sharper and I started reading him a lot better. I wanted to put a statement out there with my jab, and it worked well tonight to break him down to the point he started taking a few too many shots.”
“I was saying to Adam (Booth) that I’m going to land a right-uppercut on this guy. When they started landing and doing the job, I thought if he’s going to just sit there and take it then I’m just going to keep giving it to him.”
“He goes the distance with heavier guys normally, like super middleweights. To hurt him, and make him physically shaken, shows what strength and power I carry at 154-pounds.”