David Avanesyan vs Josh Kelly Preview, Tips & Prediction


Well well well, British boxing made a return for the first time in seven weeks last weekend and it's safe to say, it didn't go without plenty of talking points. An all out war between Leigh Wood and Reece Mould followed by a great fight between Zelfa Barrett and Kiko Martinez which was marred by controversial scorecards and then the fight night concluding with Josh Warrington's shock defeat to the relatively unknown Mexican Mauricio Lara. It's safe to say last Saturdays card had it all.

This weekend we look set to see David Avanesyan finally take on Josh Kelly in a fight which has been rescheduled no less than three times after Kelly pulled out on the day of the original fight back in December of 2018.

On the undercard is a quality "pick em" fight between the unbeaten king of Albania Florian Marku and Rylan Charlton along with interesting bouts for Jordan Gill, Robbie Davies Jnr and the pro debut of the 'Romford Bull' Johnny Fisher.

First of all we'll take a look at Robbie Davies's bout with Gabriel Valenzuela.

Robbie Davies Jnr vs Gabriel Valenzuela

A decent enough fight to kick off the main card, Liverpool's Robbie Davies Jnr takes on the experienced Mexican Gabriel Valenzuela in a fight which was only matched a couple of weeks ago after Anthony Fowler's bout was scrapped due to him suffering from COVID.

Davies is one of the most exciting fighters in Europe at 10 stone and he was involved in a fight of the year candidate back in 2019 when losing out to a unanimous decision to Lewis Ritson in a fight which was much closer than the scorecards suggested.

The Mexican Valenzuela is much lesser known of the two but he does come in to the fight off the back of a 21 fight unbeaten streak dating back to March 2017 so it's clear that he is no mug.

It's clearly a fight that Davies will be expected to win and with a big 2021 ahead of him, he'll be looking to get some rounds in the bag under the tutorship of his new trainer Dominic Ingle and we're backing him to win a comfortable points victory.

Jordan Gill vs Cesar Juarez

In another England vs Mexico match up, flashy featherweight contender Jordan Gill takes on the experienced Cesar Juarez in a bout scheduled for 10 rounds.

Gill was touted as being one of the biggest prospects in England before suffering a shock defeat Mario Enrique Tinoco back in May of 2019 but the Peterborough man has bounced back from that in impressive style with back to back victories including a comfortable points defeat of fellow Brit Reece Bellotti at Matchroom's Fight Camp back in August.

Like his fellow countryman Valenzuela, not much is known about Juarez apart from the fact that he's clearly very experienced and like 99.9% of Mexican's he's very tough. He suffered a fifth round stoppage loss to eventual world champion Isaac Dogboe back in 2018 and despite picking up a couple of victories since then, he has lost his last two by stoppage but both to unbeaten fighters so he's clearly fought at a much higher level than Gill.

Under the guidance of Dave Coldwell in Doncaster, Gill will be looking to take the step up to world level in 2021 and anything but victory over Juarez will scupper all of those plans and we're backing him to get the job done with a convincing points victory.

Florian Marku vs Rylan Charlton

Now for a proper 50/50 between two unbeaten prospects. Albania's former kickboxing world champion Florian Marku taking on the East Anglian Rylan Charlton in a mouthwatering welterweight clash.

Marku, who originally made his name in kickboxing, has taken the British boxing scene by storm with notable performance on the Ultimate Boxxer undercards which has seen the UK based Albanian's get right behind him and trust me, they can make some noise. He was on a seven fight win streak before a controversial decision against the inexperienced Jamie Stewart saw him claim just a draw in a fight which he quite clearly won.

Charlton meanwhile has had a much quieter rise to stardom. Unbeaten in his first six outings as a professional, he burst on to the scene with a shock stoppage defeat over the popular Joe Laws towards the back end of last year and the rivalry between these two really started from then.

What makes this fight so interesting is their styles. Both like to come forward, both can punch, both are technically decent boxers and both are tough. This fight could end been fought in a phone box or simply become a battle of the jabs, more than likely a phone box however.

The Albanian Marku has shown plenty already to suggest that he can mix it up on the inside and just as well on the outside and we expect him to invite the pressure from Charlton early on and try to walk him on to something big behind his jab.

Prediction: Florian Marku to win

David Avanesyan vs Josh Kelly

Now for the biggy and what a fight this is. England's adopted Russian/Armenian David Avanesyan taking on 2016 Olympian Josh Kelly for the EBU European Welterweight crown.

This is a fight that boxing fans have been waiting for for years, literally.

Originally scheduled for December 8th 2018, Kelly pulled out on the morning of the fight due to illness and since then the fight has been rescheduled twice but due to a variety of things, it's yet to go ahead. However, this weekend we are finally getting to see the pair go at it.

Former world title challenger Avanesyan is in arguably the form of his life after picking up a hat-trick of stoppage victories including back to back showreel knockouts of the originally unbeaten Spaniard Kerman Lejarraga back in 2019. Unlike Kelly though, he does have losses on his record with one of them came early in his career and the other two coming at elite world level, a level in which Kelly is yet to really fight at.

After defeat in the last 16 of the 2016 Olympic Games to the now unbeaten professional Daniyar Yeleussinov, Kelly took the plunge in to the paid ranks by turning professional and he made some impression winning his first nine fights, six by stoppage. He did however then come unstuck in a less than convincing performance against Ray Robinson on the Anthony Joshua Andy Ruiz undercard where he was lucky to get a draw but he then bounced back with a classy points defeat of the experienced Wiston Campos at the end of 2019.

On paper, this is a case of the brawler against the boxer. Avanesyan has rediscovered himself since his stoppage loss to Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Kelly is somewhat on the comeback trail since his disappointing draw to Robinson.

So how do we see this fight going? Many people have written Kelly off since that draw however we believe Avanesyan's style could quite possibly suit him much better than Kelly's style suits Avanesyan. The Russian's chopping right hook is deadly along with his solid high guard, however when he does let his hands go, he seems to admire his work a little too much which leaves opportunities for him to be countered.

Kelly has shown already that his two of his finest traits are his hand speed and lateral movement and if he can cut out the showboating inside the range of Avanesyan, then he could well win this fight with his superior boxing skill and potentially get a late stoppage. However, you cannot write off Avanesyan till the final bell. He's the more experienced out of the pair but if Kelly can find a home for his jab and make the Russian over commit, he could well make a bit of a statement here.

Prediction: Josh Kelly to win by unanimous decision

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