David Coldwell has backed Josh Kelly to defeat David Avanesyan when they meet in the ring this Saturday and says he will “look good doing so”.
The Sunderland fighter takes on the European champion at the SSE Arena in Wembley having not fought since he beat Winston Campos in Phoenix way back in December 2019.
However, legendary coach and boxing manager David Coldwell is confident the 26-year-old has the style and substance to get the better of his Russian opponent this weekend.
“I cannot wait for this fight,” Coldwell told the Betfred Boxing Show. “I actually think that although Avanesyan is very dangerous, heavy-handed, strong, rugged, experienced, I just think Josh Kelly’s had two years literally to prepare for this and I think he’ll be so well-drilled, he’s going to box to orders and I think he’s going to completely outbox him.
“I think he’s going to put on a clinic. I think Josh Kelly wins this one and looks good doing so.”
Asked if he believes it could go to the judges’ decision, Coldwell added, “I don’t think it will be early early, possibly an accumulation but more likely points, although Avanesyan has been stopped before. I know Kelly’s not the hardest puncher but he’s a very sharp, crisp puncher, accurate puncher, he hits shots that you don’t see coming. They’re the shots that unravel fighters so I could see him maybe unravelling in the final quarter of the fight maybe.”
Kelly himself is feeling good despite the setbacks he’s faced with his fight being cancelled and moved around due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now the bout is finally going ahead, he is more than ready and can’t wait to get into the ring.
Returning to action with no crowd will certainly be a new experience for Kelly, but he revealed that he and his team have taken steps to combat the lack of atmosphere.
“We’ve done a lot to emulate that [lack of crowd],” he revealed. “The thing with a crowd is they can either give you energy or draw your energy, either one can have a negative or positive effect depending which way the crowd swings in the fight and you can’t let that get to you.”
Pushed on whether he thinks he has grown since his last fight, Kelly insisted: “Massively. I’m only 26 now. I’ve still got a lot of maturing to do, but physically I’ve matured and mentally I’ve matured. Mindset, maturity, nutrition, everything. I’ve stepped up another level, I’ve found a new gear. I’m expecting the hardest fight of my life.”
Kelly v Avanesyan gets underway around 10pm on Saturday night, with coverage beginning on Sky Sports Arena at 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event at 10pm.