The always exciting Josh Kelly will look to bounce back from defeat as he enters the ring for the first time since February 2021 when he takes on Peter Kramer in Liverpool as part of the second Wasserman Boxing show on Channel 5.
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Josh Kelly made his name in the amateurs. He was a part of Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic games, a dream for any amateur to compete in. Kelly's Olympic dream ended in Rio when he was defeated by Daniyar Yeleussinov. Yeleussinov would go on to win Gold. Kelly turned professional after the Olympics, as he ended his amateur career at 19-12.
Kelly teamed up with Adam Booth in the professional ranks, and was signed to Matchroom Boxing. Kelly would face Jay Byrne on his debut, on the undercard of Ricky Burns Vs Julius Indongo in Glasgow. Kelly would win on points, showcasing his flashy skills and instantly catching the eye of the public. Kelly would get a knockout in his second bout, as he stopped Jony Vina in four rounds. Kelly would headline one of Matchroom's JD NXTGEN shows next, as he faced Tom Whitfield in the Walker Activity Dome in Newcastle. Kelly would provide one of the most unique knockouts, as he landed a succession of left hooks to stop Whitfield in the first round.
People were liking what they were seeing with Kelly, and he would continue his knockout streak as he would impressively stop Jose Luis Zuniga in two rounds in his fourth bout. Kelly would step up to a ten rounder in his fifth bout, but didn't need all ten rounds, as he stopped Jean Michel Hamilcaro in six rounds at the iconic York Hall.
Kelly would pick up his first title in his sixth bout as he would defeat former world champion Carlos Molina over 10 rounds for the WBA international welterweight title at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Kelly would add the Commonwealth title to his mantle next time out, as he defeated Kris George, George was pulled out by his corner at the end of the seventh round with two suspected broken hands and a broken jaw. Following this bout, Kelly returned to the ring on the Oleksandr Usyk Vs Tony Bellew undercard in Manchester, where he would make light work of Walter Fabian Castillo.
Kelly would next defend his WBA international belt against the unbeaten Przemyslaw Runowski. Kelly produced a composed performance, dropping Runowski in the second and tenth round, giving Kelly a shutout victory on points. Kelly went to crack America next, but the US debut unfortunately did not go to plan. Kelly would be held to a draw against Ray Robinson on the undercard of Anthony Joshua Vs Andy Ruiz in Madison Square Garden. However, Kelly returned to the states for his next bout, as he dropped Winston Campos once on the way to a unanimous decision victory in Arizona.
Kelly would fight David Avanesyan next. A fight that was meant to happen earlier in Kelly's career, but was cancelled due to injury, the bout was finally going to happen three years later than originally planned. After the bout was cancelled in 2018, Avanesyan had gone on to win the European title. Kelly looked bright early on in the bout but picked up cuts to his right eye and back of his head. Avanesyan's experience shone through as he would drop Kelly twice before Kelly's team threw the towel in following an extremely spirited performance from Kelly fighting through his cuts.
Kelly has been out of the ring since the Avanesyan bout, and also left Matchroom boxing. Kelly was then picked up by Wasserman Boxing who are going to be guiding his career back on track. Kelly was originally slated to return in London on the 13th of May against Xhulio Vrenozi on the curtain raiser of Wasserman's TV deal with Channel 5. However, a dispute regarding weight lead to Vrenozi pulling out just hours before the fight, leaving Kelly with no opponent.
Kelly's return is locked in for Friday night as he takes on the tough Hungarian Peter Kramer on the Wasserman Boxing card on Friday from the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. The main fights of the bill will be shown on Channel 5, with the undercard being streamed live on the Boxing Social YouTube page.