A truly compelling main event for the British Super Welterweight Title on December 3rd. Troy Williamson vs Josh Kelly goes down this weekend, with north-east bragging rights on the line. It’s Newcastle vs Sunderland. Who will come out on top in this exhilarating main event?
Not so long ago it seemed Josh Kelly had the world at his feet. One of Eddie Hearn’s future stars, a flashy, confident, spiteful boxer who could be called upon to please a crowd and put in a sensational performance. Then all of a sudden, one defeat against a world level fighter, and he almost disappeared off the face of the earth. Saturday night is his chance to propel himself back into big-time boxing and cementing himself as one of Britain’s best fighters.
It has been quite the opposite for Troy Williamson. The Newcastle man has done it the hard way. No backing from a big-time promoter, no Olympic pedigree, just sheer hard work, determination and boxing performances that couldn't go unnoticed for any longer. Williamson’s breakout moment was his emphatic knockout of Ted Cheeseman, collecting the British Title in the process and launching himself onto the big stage in an emphatic way.
Two years ago this fight would never have even been muttered under any boxing fans breath. You would have been laughed at and ridiculed if you so much as mentioned that Troy Williamson was even in the same league as Josh Kelly. But this is boxing, it’s a funny old game.
Fast forward to now and it’s ‘Trojan’ who is the favourite. All of a sudden, the hype train of ‘Pretty Boy’ has crashed. Will he be able to get it tracking full steam ahead again after beating Williamson? Or will the British Super-Welterweight Champion defend his Lonsdale Belt successfully for the second time? This fight is truly compelling.
Taking an in-depth look at both fighters, their two careers have been a complete contrast to one another. Despite labelling this a Newcastle vs Sunderland clash, Troy Williamson is actually from Darlington. Closer to Middlesbrough than Newcastle, but for the sake of hyping the fight, Williamson has well and truly adopted the Geordie roots.
Troy Williamson attempts to make the second defence of his British Super-Welterweight Title (Photo: Bad Left Hook)
The 31-year–old boasts an impeccable professional boxing record. He is 19-0-1, with 14 big wins coming inside the distance. Williamson’s stock rose tenfold when he switched Ted Cheeseman’s lights out in October 2021, knocking the ‘Big Cheese’ unconscious in what looked like a worrying knockout for quite some time. Thankfully Cheeseman recovered, but that 10th round stoppage well and truly put Troy Williamson on the domestic super-welterweight map.
That was after two impressive displays over Harry Scarff and Kieron Smith, with both fights ending in comprehensive ‘Trojan’ victories. Williamson made his first defence of the Lonsdale Belt in March this year, with Mason Cartwright the challenger for his coveted British Title. It turned out to be a gruelling fight for both met, but Williamson bit down on his gum shield and won a close unanimous decision after 36 minutes of action. The Middlesbrough man showed he had a lot of heart, plenty of grit and determination in abundance that night. All of these qualities he will need once again come December 3rd.
For Josh Kelly, he boasts an impressive 12-1-1 record with seven stoppage victories. Kelly shot to fame after catching the eye of the boxing world at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Despite not winning a medal, Kelly put all boxing fans on notice, with promoters crawling at the feet of ‘Pretty Boy’ to secure his signature.
Kelly eventually turned to the professional ranks and signed a promotion deal with Eddie Hearn at Matchroom. Kelly was the shining star, the future, a world champion in the making. He didn’t put a foot wrong in his rise up the ranks, until he ran into David Avanesyan in 2021.
Up until then, the 28-year-old had some impressive wins over the likes of Przemyslaw Runowski, Winston Campos and a majority decision draw with Ray Robinson - a former opponent of the likes of Breidis Prescott, Shawn Porter, Yordenis Ugas and Egidijus Kavaliauskas. The Avanesyan fight was a step too far for Kelly, but that isn’t a criticism of Kelly whatsoever. ‘Ava’ is a top quality fighter, and looks like he could challenge Terrence Crawford for world honours at welterweight next.
Josh Kelly looks to get his career back up and running this weekend (Photo: SportsByte)
Running into a man possessed like Avanesyan, or perhaps the fact that ‘Pretty Boy’ was struggling to make the 147-pound welterweight limit, doesn’t mean he should be completely forgotten about. Kelly is still a quality fighter, and provided he wins this fight against Troy Williamson, who knows, it could be the confidence booster (not that he lacks any) that he so desperately needs. Adam Booth and the rest of Team Kelly will still believe a world title is well within the grasp of Josh between now and the end of his career, and he certainly has the talent to do it. Provided he get through this one, gets the right fights at the right times, he can most definitely lift a world title belt within the next 18 months, no doubt about it.
Taking a quick look at the physical dimensions of both men, it is clear to see that Williamson is the bigger man. Standing at 5”11, ‘Trojan’ is naturally a big super-welterweight, whilst Kelly could be deemed a pumped up welterweight. ‘Pretty Boy’ is an inch shorter at 5”10, as well as having a slight reach disadvantage.
This fight is absolutely massive in terms of the British super-welterweight scene. A win could see European honours being contested for next, with a loss looking ever so damaging, especially for Kelly. There are still some huge fights to be made domestically at light-middleweight. The likes of Liam Smith, Sam Eggington and JJ Metcalf still lurk at the summit of the British rankings. English champion Sam Gilley is making inroads and will be hopeful of a British Title shot in 2023, as well as several other big names at 154-pounds.
Firstly, let's see how Saturday night plays out. A truly excellent fight worthy of headlining any non-world title show around the world. Two of the best British fighters in the light-middleweight division, risking it all for the historic Lonsdale Belt this weekend. What a fight we have in prospect, so let's hope it lives up to it. 12 x 3 minute rounds of potential boxing class. What an epic encounter we are being treated to on UK shores this Saturday on Tyneside.
Troy Williamson (19-0-1, 14 KOs)
David Benitez - WIN - TKO Round 6
Mason Cartwright - WIN - UD (116-111, 114-113, 117-112)
Ted Cheeseman - WIN - TKO Round 10
Kieran Smith - WIN - TKO Round 6
Josh Kelly (12-1-1, 7 KOs)
Angel Emilov - WIN - UD (99-92, 96-95, 98-92)
Peter Kramer - WIN - TKO Round 4
David Avanesyan - LOSS - TKO Round 6
Winston Campos - WIN - UD (99-90, 99-90, 98-91)
Date: December 2nd 2022
Time: Approx. 10.30PM Ring Walk (GMT)
Venue: Newcastle Arena, Newcastle, England, UK
Promotor: Probellum / Channel 5
Official Fight Poster (Photo: @JOSHPBK on Twitter)
Elsewhere on this stellar undercard ,former Geordie Shore reality TV star, Aaron Chalmers, makes his second professional walk to the ring. ‘The Benwell Bomber’ Joe Laws also returns after his shock loss to a journeyman in his last bout. Ewan McKenzie, Jordan Barker-Porter and Ben Marksby are also in action, continuing the local Newcastle theme on the undercard.
Matty Harris vs Jiri Surmaj and Katharina Thanderz vs Edina Kiss are two other fights here at the Newcastle Arena, which completes the full undercard of action in the north-east.