“I’m going to go in there and I’m going to be the best version of Josh Kelly. I don’t think David can take that over 12 rounds. I believe I can break him down and I will stop him.”
Staring straight down the barrel of the camera, it is clear Kelly believes every word. This Saturday the 26-year-old will go toe-to-toe with European welterweight champion David Avanesyan in an attempt to take his belt off him and maintain his undefeated professional record.
Full of confidence, ‘Pretty Boy’ is convinced he will be European champion by the end of Saturday night and is fully focused on the 12 rounds that stand between him and his goal.
“It is good I've got this chance. I'm grateful for the chance, I'm going to take it with both hands and collect that European title that has got my name written on it," Kelly told Betfred.
“What else can it be? Saturday night. Everything else can just f*ck off, do you know what I mean?”
This meeting has been a long time coming. Kelly was set to fight the Russian in December 2018 before he had to withdraw through illness, and the Covid-19 pandemic meant both of their careers were put on pause in 2020.
“I’ve seen enough, I’d seen enough the first time I was going to fight him, that is why we made the fight. We asked for the fight the first time. I’ve only got better since so I can’t wait,” Kelly smiled. “Everything has stepped up another level. I’ve always been professional and given 110 per cent in training, but for some reason it is like this time around I’ve gone ‘wow, what was I leaving behind? This is what I wasn’t doing?’ The place I am in now is lovely, it is great.”
Kelly’s record currently stands at 10-0-1 compared to Avanesyan’s 26-3-1, and although the 32-year-old champion boasts more experience than the Englishman, this will be the first time since their amateur days that they have fought in front of no fans.
“[My trainers] know my personality, they know the way I box and they know what I thrive off so I think Saturday will bring the best out of me. He is going to be surprised. What can I say? Unless he is Superman he can’t walk through those shots that I’m going to be throwing at him on Saturday night.”
Having received heavy criticism for pulling out of the first fight between the pair, many pundits are suggesting that this match-up could be a way for Kelly to set the record straight. However, he doesn’t quite subscribe to that ideology.
“I don’t get out of bed to prove people wrong, I get out of bed to put food on the table for my family, but it will be a little bit of icing on top of the cake.”
Josh Kelly is 8/11 with Betfred to win the fight and 7/2 to win via knockout.