A bronze medallist at the 2015 European Games in Baku, accomplished amateur talent Kelly is 10-0-1 in his 11 bouts since turning pro in 2017, with the only minor setback coming in the form of a majority draw against American veteran Ray Robinson on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in New York in 2019.
When is Josh Kelly vs David Avanesyan?
Josh Kelly vs David Avanesyan takes place on Saturday, February 20.
Expect the fight to start at around 10pm GMT, though this depends on the length of the undercard bouts.
Wembley Arena in London, with no fans in attendance, plays host.
What live stream and TV channel is Josh Kelly vs David Avanesyan on?
Josh Kelly vs David Avanesyan will be shown live on Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Main Event.
Sky Sports Arena will be showing the full undercard from 7pm, while Main Event will be just showing the main event from 10pm.
The pair of welterweights came well within the 147-pound welterweight limit for their 12-round main event, which takes place Saturday live on Sky Sports and DAZN from SSE Arena, Wembley in London, England.
Avanesyan (26-3-1, 14KOs) weighed 146.4 pounds ahead of his third attempted title defense of the EBU welterweight title. Kelly (10-0-1, 7KOs) tipped the scale at a lean and ripped 146 pounds for his second scheduled 12-round affair.
Even with the fight having been postponed numerous times in getting to this point, both boxers have been here before. The two both made weight for their planned Dec. 2018 clash, only for Kelly to fall and have to withdraw on the morning of the fight.
Avaneysan was none too pleased with the development, although his career has actually soared to new heights as a result.
The former secondary welterweight titlist from Newark, England by way of Tabynskoe, Russia remains best known for handing ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley the final defeat of his Hall of Fame career in a May 2016 unanimous decision win. Avanesyan lost the belt in his first defense, as he was outpointed by Lamont Peterson in Feb. 2017. Two fights later came a knockout loss to then-unbeaten Egidijus Kavaliauskas in Feb. 2018, which was to have been followed by the showdown with Kelly.
From the fallout came a pair of career-resurrecting knockout wins over Kerman Lejarraga, both on the road in Bilbao, Spain. Lejarraga was unbeaten at the time Avanesyan rallied to stop the Spaniard in the 9th round of their March 2019 clash to win the EBU belt. Matters ended much quicker in their rematch six months later, with Avanesyan scoring a 1st round stoppage before setting his sights on Kelly.
Both sides agreed to terms for a title fight, only to take separate interim bouts beforehand. Avanesyan returned to Spain, where he blasted out Jose del Rio inside of one round in their Dec. 2019 clash, his last to date.
Kelly fought one week later in the United States, outpointing Wiston Campos on a Dec. 2019 DAZN show in Phoenix, Arizona. It was the second consecutive stateside appearance for the 2012 Great Britain Olympian from Sunderland, England, having fought to a disappointing 10-round draw with Philadelphia’s Ray Robinson the prior June at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Kelly has been eager ever since to settle matters with Avanesyan, in part to dismiss any claims that he was avoiding the fight. The universe clearly had other ideas, as the two were due to meet last March 28 only for the event to get wiped out by the first wave of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing and health regulations shut down plans for at least two other attempts to get the bout over the line, including their previously announced January 30 date which was scrapped due to the spike in cases from the new COVID strain which hit the U.K.
“Pretty Boy” has fought only once since that night at Madison Square Garden, dominating Winston Campos en route to a comfortable points win in Phoenix in December of the same year.
The 32-year-old is an experienced campaigner who previously served as WBA interim welterweight champion after an eye-catching win over Shane Mosley in the last fight of “Sugar’s” illustrious career.
Avanesyan – whose overall career record stands at 26-3-1 – followed that career-best 2016 triumph by challenging Lamont Peterson for the WBA regular belt, though lost via decision.
On the undercard, welterweight prospect Florian Marku will hope to bounce back from his controversial draw against Jamie Stewart as he battles Rylan Charlton, while former British, Commonwealth and European super-lightweight champion Robbie Davies Jr fights Mexico’s Gabriel Valenzuela for the IBF Intercontinental super-lightweight belt.
Powerful heavyweight prospect Johnny Fisher makes his pro debut against Matt Gordon, while Jordan Gill meets former world super-bantamweight title challenger Cesar Juarez for the WBA International featherweight belt.
Avanesyan vs Kelly fight card/undercard in full
David Avanesyan vs Josh Kelly (for European welterweight title)
Florian Marku vs Rylan Charlton (10-round welterweight fight)
Robbie Davies Jr vs Gabriel Valenzuela (for IBF Intercontinental super-lightweight title)
Johnny Fisher vs Matt Gordon (Six-round heavyweight fight)
Jordan Gill vs Cesar Juarez (for WBA International featherweight title)
Avanesyan vs Kelly date, start time, venue and ring walks
Avanesyan vs Kelly is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at The SSE Arena, Wembley.
What have they said?
Josh Kelly: “Conor Benn will get dealt with after I’ve dealt with this European title fight — he’ll soon see what I’ve got to say on telly.
“That’s the next fight after this fight. I’ve got this year mapped out — Avaneyshyan is getting ticked then Conor Benn is getting ticked and, at the end of the year, we’ll see who else is there to get ticked.
“I can’t wait for Saturday. This is the one that opens everything up.
“This will be the start of the big year, which I know is already written.”
Who is fighting on the undercard?
- David Avanesyan vs Josh Kelly (welterweight)
- Jordan Gill vs Cesar Juarez (featherweight)
- Florian Marku vs Rylan Charlton (welterweight)
- Robbie Davies Jnr vs Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela (super-lightweight)
- Johnny Fisher vs Matt Gordon (heavyweight)