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Surging Avanesyan TKOs ex-Olympian Kelly

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  • Surging Avanesyan TKOs ex-Olympian Kelly

    Click image for larger version  Name:	robinson.PNG Views:	0 Size:	414.0 KB ID:	18852

    By Arne K. Lang

    It seemed that David Avanesyan’s best days were behind him when he was overpowered by Egidijus Kavaliauskas in February of 2018. Kavaliauskas stopped him in the sixth round. But the well-traveled, 32-year-old Russian, who has been living off-and-on in the UK since 2014, is enjoying quite an impressive career resurgence.

    The last man to defeat Shane Mosley, Avanesyan (27-3-1, 15 KOs) started his comeback in Spain with back-to-back knockouts of highly-touted and previously undefeated Kerman Lejarraga. Tonight, in a match at London's Wembley Arena, a contest that finally came to fruition after multiple postponements, Avanesyan got the measure of Josh “Pretty Boy” Kelly, stopping the ex-Olympian in the sixth frame to successfully defend his European welterweight title.

    Kelly, a consensus 3/2 favorite, was undefeated coming in (10-0-1). He was conspicuously bigger than Avanesyan and had a more well-rounded arsenal, but his lack of experience showed and his punches weren’t as powerful.

    Working behind a stiff jab, Kelly arguably won the first four rounds, this despite suffering two cuts. In round two, blood began pouring from the back of his head from a cut thought to be the result of an errant elbow. Near the end of round four, Kelly was cut above his right eye.

    Avanesyan finally caught up with Kelly in round six. He dropped him to his knees with a pair of chopping rights and then, after Kelly arose on unsteady legs, went for the kill, forcing Kelly’s trainer Adam Booth to toss in the towel. The official time was 2:15.

    If Josh Kelly had won, he was expected to make the first defense of his title against Conor Benn. Avanesyan can presumably have that gig if he wants it but may seek to fry a bigger fish.

    Other Bouts

    There was another mild upset in the semi-windup, and for the second straight week on a Matchroom promotion, an unheralded invader from Mexico spoiled the soup. Gabriel Valenzuela wasn’t nearly as impressive as his countryman Mauricio Lara, conqueror of Josh Warrington, but he had the goods to turn away Robbie Davis Jr, winning a 10-round majority decision (96-95, 96-95, 94-94) by scores that gave the local man the best of it while evading the stink of yet another controversial outcome.

    Guadalajara’s Valenzuela, making only his second start outside Mexico, dropped Davies with a right hook in the third round and then finished strong to edge the fight in his favor. He advanced his record to 23-2-1 with the losses coming early in his career. Davies declined to 20-3.

    In a 10-round featherweight contest, Jordan Gill scored a unanimous decision over Mexico City’s Cesar Juarez to improve his ledger to 26-1 (7). Juarez, a former world title challenger who went 12 rounds with Nonito Donaire in 2015, dropped to 25-10.

    Also, Johnny Fisher, the “Romford Bull,” announced his presence as the newest member of Great Britain’s thriving domestic heavyweight scene. The burly Fisher, a 21-year-old college graduate with a degree in history, bowled over sacrificial lamb Matt Gordon, scoring two knockdowns before the bout was stopped at the 2:21 mark of the opening round.

    Photo credit: Mark Robinson / Matchroom Boxing

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Thanks Arne, good wrap-up. The Brits are using herd immunity with their heavyweights.


    • #3
      You could see Kelly’s hopes for victory bleeding out that hole on his head and running down his back. When he suffered that cut to his eye, I knew he was toast. Persistence pays off.