Avanesyan vs Kelly - Fight Preview

At the fourth time of asking, Josh Kelly and David Avanesyan are finally set to meet in the ring this coming weekend. After Kelly pulled out of the first fight due to illness, and since then two failed reschedules, the pair are at-last set to lock horns on Saturday night for the European welterweight title.

Avanesyan and Kelly are finally going to settle their differences in the ring on Saturday night (Photo: Sky Sports)


This fight is long overdue, and fans are finally getting the fight they want to see. Provided there are no mishaps or failed COVID-19 tests in fight week, which perhaps wouldn’t come as a surprise to people if something were to happen given the several false starts, the fight will go down on Saturday night at SSE Arena, Wembley.


The pair are too evenly matched to split, at least that is what the bookmakers think. Opinions are divided among the boxing world, with strong cases being made for either man, which hopefully makes for an enthralling fight on Saturday evening.


In one corner, you have the current European champion, David Avanesyan. A frightening puncher, with immense boxing ability to match.


The Russian superstar has looked almost unbeatable since stopping the highly rated Kerman Lejarraga in March 2019. The pair then went on to have a rematch, in which the 32-year-old put on an absolute demolition job, viciously stopping Lejarraga again, only this time it only took one round. ‘Ava’ is on a roll, and is now looking to make Kelly his fourth successive stoppage win. However, after several fallouts and postponements, the current European champion will be hoping none of his momentum has been lost.


Boasting a record of 26-3-1, with 14 wins inside the distance, Avanesyan is highly regarded as one of the most powerful punchers in the 147-pound division.


When the fight was originally meant to happen, back in December 2018, Kelly was seen as a big favourite, as ‘Ava’ was seen as a somewhat unknown quantity. However, that is not the case now, as the European king has gone from strength to strength. Coming off the back of three knockout finishes and with the European title around his waist, Avanesyan is now a big name in the welterweight division.


Kelly was forced to withdraw from the original fight through illness on the morning of the bout, which greatly frustrated Team Avanesyan, with the Russian’s manager, Neil Marsh, labelling Kelly as a “bottle job”.

David Avanesyan will be hoping to make his third successful defence of his European title (Photo: Newark Advertiser)


To say this fight has been a long time coming is a complete understatement, and to the relief of thousands of fans, we are finally getting to see the fight, once and for all.


In the other corner, you have Josh Kelly. A once elite amateur, representing Team GB at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but now an exciting professional with talent in abundance.


Since pulling out of the original fight back in December 2018, Kelly has been scrutinised and shunned by boxing fans, with some believing he just didn’t fancy it. However, whatever your opinion on the original fallout, the fight is now here and there is no going back.


‘Pretty Boy’ is one of the most exciting talents in Britain. With his flair and razzmatazz, he is unmissable TV. However, he also has a mean streak and it is clear to see the ability he has can make him a huge threat on the world scene at welterweight.


The 26-year-old boasts a record of 10-0-1 with six of his wins coming by way of knockout. Up until his draw with Ray Robinson at Madison Square Gardens on the undercard of Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz, Kelly hadn’t put a foot wrong. Although he wasn’t defeated, it was clear to see that the Sunderland man had plenty more to learn before making the step up to world level.


It is quite clear that Kelly exudes confidence, both in the ring and outside it. His opinion on the fight with Avanesyan is no different, and the Adam Booth trained superstar believes he will silence his critics and get the win on Saturday night.


“This fight has been a long time coming and it’s finally time to silence my doubters.


“It’s going to be a good fight, but one I’m quietly confident about. I feel like this is a turning point in my career. When I win, then I take it to the next level,” he told Sky Sports.

Josh Kelly is aiming to prove his doubters wrong with a big win on Saturday night (Photo: Sky Sports)


After two years of talking and postponed match-ups, the time has finally arrived for David Avanesyan and Josh Kelly to fight for the European welterweight title. The two men are at-last going to make the walk to the ring on Saturday night, and put it all on the line to put this saga to bed, once and for all.


A world title opportunity surely isn’t too far away for the winner, with a possible shot at world honours before the end of the year.


Fighter’s Form:


David Avanesyan

Jose Del Rio – WIN – TKO Round 1

Kerman Lejarraga – WIN – TKO Round 1

Kerman Lejarraga – WIN – TKO Round 9

Egidijus Kavaliauskas – LOSS – TKO Round 6


Josh Kelly

Wiston Campos – WIN – UD (99-90, 99-90, 98-91)

Ray Robinson – DRAW – MD (96-95, 95-95, 95-95)

Przemyslaw Runowski – WIN – UD (100-88, 100-89, 100-88)

Walter Fabian Castillo – WIN – TKO Round 1


Event Information:

Date: February 20th 2021

Time: Ring walk approx. 22.00

Venue: SSE Arena, Wembley, London, England

Channel: Sky Sports/DAZN

(Photo: @EddieHearn on Twitter)


Elsewhere on the card, Robbie Davies Jr takes on Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela in a super-lightweight contest, the rematch between Amy Timlin and Carly Skelly also features, Florian Marku takes on Rylan Charlton in another welterweight contest, while Johnny Fisher makes his professional debut against Matt Gordon at heavyweight.

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