Josh Kelly speaks about loss and thanks the fans
On February 20, rising welterweight Josh ‘Pretty Boy’ Kelly (10-1-1, 6ko) suffered his first career defeat at the hands of former WBA ‘regular’ champion David “Ava” Avanesyan (27-3-1, 15ko)
This upset was a shocker as ‘Pretty Boy’ was the more popular fighter. Furthermore, these two fighters’ paths were bound to cross. Kelly, in a stay-busy fight, defeated Walter Fabian Castillo and was ready to lock horns with Avanesyan in December 2018. Now the fight never materialized due to an illness from the Russian native. Moreover, they were set to fight again in March 2020 until COVID-19 killed those plans.
TWO OPPOSITE CAREER PATHS
Avanesyan traveled the hard knocks path of boxing. He suffered a loss in his second professional fight. His career would take another detour after losses to former two-divisional champion Lamont Peterson and former title contender Egidjus Kavaliauskas.
The former WBA ‘regular’ champion managed to fight his way inside the top ten in all three governing sanctioning bodies. Prior to fighting Kelly, he enjoyed a three-fight win streak and won the EBU European welterweight title.
THE FAST TRACKED CAREER
Pretty Boy’s boxing career was much different. Out of the gate the former 2016 Olympian was thrust into the spotlight. He surpassed the domestic level and, in 2018, won the vacant WBA International title in the first six fights. Kelly kept the momentum going by winning fights and snagging the Commonwealth welterweight title along the way. However, things came to a pause with a draw against Ray Robinson in June 2019.
The former 2016 Olympian bounced back with a win six months after the Robinson draw. Team Kelly was very confident going into the fight against a seasoned veteran in Avanesyan, and this was his chance to silence the doubters who felt that the Robinson draw proved he was not ready for the next level.
Kelly started the fight utilizing his speed and reflexes to bother the older opponent. It looked like it would be an easy night. However, Kelly suffered a cut behind the head, causing him to change the game plan. He stopped utilizing his pure boxing ability and fought at close range. This proved to be a huge mistake and gave the more experienced former world champion opportunities to land. After being knocked down twice, Kelly’s corner threw in the towel.
This was a huge upset and most fighters find it hard to digest such a devastating defeat. Kelly would take to social media to thank the fans for the support and let them know he is okay.
By: Garrisson Bland