North East rivals Troy Williamson and Josh Kelly will compete for Williamson’s British super-welterweight title on December 2, writes Elliot Worsell
TWO fights into his comeback, following a 2021 loss towards David Avanesyan, there’s already a way Josh Kelly wants a problem if he’s to 1, convey out his finest stuff once more, and two, rediscover the relevance he appears to have misplaced since shedding his undefeated document.
Fortunately, for Kelly’s sake and ours, this problem will arrive within the type of Troy Williamson, whom Kelly will meet in Newcastle on Friday, December 2, it was introduced as we speak.
Williamson is, in fact, like Kelly, from the North East (Darlington, to be precise) and at present holds the British super-welterweight title. He isn’t, one suspects, the calibre of opponent Kelly and his backers could have been anticipating him to be preventing at this stage – again when he turned professional – however given the best way the Sunderland man’s profession has unfolded to this point Williamson is in some ways the good opponent for him in 2022.
For whereas Kelly nonetheless possesses baggage of pure expertise and subsequently potential, his journey thus far has not been a easy one, nor, for that matter, are world titles a assure. In reality, with a professional document of 12-1-1 (7), the 28-year-old nonetheless has a lot to show, and in that respect Williamson, an sincere and harmful home menace, will symbolize the most important win of Kelly’s profession ought to he be capable to safe it later this 12 months.
“He has solely come on my radar since he stepped as much as super-welterweight,” Williamson, 19-0-1 (14), instructed Boxing Information earlier this summer season. “He was solely a welterweight earlier than that and it by no means actually crept into my thoughts that he may in the future step up. I didn’t suppose he was an enormous welterweight, both, so I used to be a bit shocked to listen to he had moved up, to be sincere. I’ve a measurement benefit over most individuals I battle and it wouldn’t be any completely different with Josh.
“Nonetheless, I believe he’s a particular expertise; very gifted. He’s bought a fantastic skillset. I believe he’s a fantastic fighter and I all the time have carried out.”
Whereas Kelly’s expertise has by no means been in query, there are, it goes with out saying, quite a few different areas by which a fighter must excel as a way to finally fulfil their potential. For Kelly, a former Commonwealth welterweight champion, this process has been made all of the harder by advantage of that 2021 loss towards Avanesyan, which, his subsequent opponent suspects, has successfully established the blueprint to beat Kelly.
“I believe the best way to beat Josh can be to make him battle at my tempo and never let him work at his tempo,” Williamson, 31, stated. “That’s what Avanesyan did with him. He set a excessive tempo and by no means let him settle into any type of rhythm. You must keep on him and strain him.”
“Strain” will little doubt be the buzzword forward of this glorious home battle on December 2. It will likely be a phrase Williamson will repeat to remind Kelly of that traumatic loss towards Avanesyan and it’ll even be a phrase Kelly himself will invariably point out, if solely to remind individuals that he’s at his finest when beneath strain – in a aggressive sense – and that strain, when the choice is irrelevance and complacency, is one thing he has needed to expertise once more for a while now.