David Avanesyan will defend his EBU European Welterweight Title against undefeated rising star Josh Kelly in a bitter grudge match at The O2 in London on Saturday March 28, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. (photos by Mark Robinson)
The rivals were due to meet at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield back in December 2018 before an illness forced Kelly to withdraw from the contest on the morning of the fight, leading to "bottle job" jibes from Avanesyan's manager Neil Marsh as bad blood boiled over between the camps.
Russia’s Avanesyan (26-3-1, 14 KOs) dealt with the disappointment by firmly establishing himself as ‘the man’ of the European Welterweight scene, ripping the 147lbs title from Bilbao’s Kerman Lejarraga on away soil in March before destroying him in the opening round of their September rematch.
The former World Champion made light work of Jose del Rio last time out in Barcelona, crushing the Spaniard in the opening round, and now finds himself on the cusp of another World Title shot should he inflict a first defeat on Kelly.
Kelly (10-0-1, 6 KOs), a Rio 2016 Olympian from Sunderland, outclassed the previously undefeated Pole Przemyslaw Runowski at The O2 in April last year before drawing with Przemyslaw Runowski two months later on his US debut in New York.
'PBK' decisioned Nicaragua's Wiston Campos in his last outing in Phoenix to set up his long-awaited showdown with Avanesyan the North East talent is determined to silence his critics by producing a career-best win in April.