European Welterweight champion David Avanesyan scored a sixth round stoppage of previously undefeated Josh Kelly to retain his title on Saturday night at the Wembley Arena in London, England. What was the third defense of his European crown saw Avanesyan start slow and get rocked by a left hook to the head from Kelly in the second round. It was also in that round that Kelly would be cut on the side of the head by an accidental elbow as the two fighters were being separated along the ropes.
As the fight progressed, Avanesyan gradually stepped up his offense and began landing combinations and eventually turned the ebb and flow of the combat in his favor. In round five, Kelly was cut over the right eye as a result of an accidental clash of heads. The champion would take advantage of his opening in round six when he connected with a combination of hooks to the body, followed by offense to the head that forced Kelly’s gloves to touch the canvas resulting in a knockdown. Sensing he had his opponent in trouble, Avanesyan went in for the finish and after a follow-up combination Kelly’s corner threw in the towel as he went down for the second time. Official time of the stoppage was 2:15 of round six. David Avanesyan advances to 27-3-1, with 15 Knockouts. Josh Kelly falls to 10-1-1, with 6 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
Unbeaten Welterweight prospect Florian Marku scored an eighth round stoppage over previously undefeated Rylan Charlton. Charlton applied consistent pressure from the outset and it quickly became a battle of the quicker hands of Marku against the pressure and power of Charlton. Charlton dropped Marku with a left hook to the head in round six, but Marku was able to get up and gradually his counter punches and combination punches began to have an effect on Charlton. In round eight a combination from Marku stunned Charlton and set off a barrage of unanswered punches that forced Charlton’s corner to throw the towel in to prevent their fighter from further punishment. Official time of the stoppage was 2:18 of round eight. Florian Marku advances to 8-0-1, with 6 Knockouts. Rylan Charlton falls to 6-1-1, with 3 Knockouts.
Jr. Welterweight Gabriel Valenzuela scored a hard-fought ten round majority decision over Robbie Davies. At times an ugly and rough fight where both fighters were warned throughout for fouls, Valenzuela’s effective aggression and harder blows were the story of the fight. While Davies was able to keep it competitive throughout, Valenzuela’s harder punches, particularly with his right hand ultimately swayed the judges. Valenzuela scored a knockdown of Davies in round three with a right hand in round three, but was penalized a point in round four for hitting on the break. Valenzuela had an exhausted Davies in trouble in the tenth and final round, but he was able to make it to the final bell. The ground Davies was able to make up in the middle rounds would not be enough as two of three official judges scored the bout in favor of Valenzuela. Official scores were 94-94 (Even), and 96-95 (On two scorecards). Gabriel Valenzuela advances to 23-2-1, with 13 Knockouts. Robbie Davies falls to 20-3, with 13 Knockouts.
Heavyweight Johnny Fisher successfully made his professional debut by stopping veteran Matt Gordon in the first round. Fisher faced no resistance from Gordon. A combination of punches staggered Gordon into the ropes midway through the round and it was ruled that the ropes kept him from going down making it a knockdown. The battering continued and moments later, a combination sent Gordon down for a second time. Gordon got up on very wobbly legs and the bout was promptly stopped by Referee Ian John Lewis. Official time of the stoppage was 2:29 of round one. Johnny Fisher advances to 1-0, with 1 Knockout. Matt Gordon falls to 2-6-1, with 0 Knockouts.
Featherweight contender Jordan Gill began the evening by scoring a ten round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Cesar Juarez. Gill was very effective throughout the fight using lateral movement and combination punching to evade the constant pressure of Juarez. As the fight progressed however, Juarez was able to have success in spots. The highlight for Juarez came in round five when he was able to corner Gill in his corner and unleashed a flurry of offense to the body and the head of Gill. Gill was able to withstand the barrage and minimize Juarez’ opportunities the rest of the way to earn the decision victory. Official scores were 98-92, 98-93, and 96-94 all in favor of Jordan Gill. Jordan Gill advances to 26-1, with 7 Knockouts. Cesar Juarez falls to 25-10, with 19 Knockouts.
David Avanesyan’s successful defense of his European championship, his fourth consecutive victory as well as his fourth consecutive knockout should put the native of Tabynskoe, Russia in the discussion of potential world title challengers in the 147lb. Welterweight division. Avanesyan, who previously held interim/regular champion status in the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) ratings at Welterweight in his career has certainly made an argument for himself to be a challenger to one of the world champions in the near future. Meanwhile, Josh Kelly has nothing to be ashamed of and with only twelve professional bouts in his career, it will be what he can learn from his first professional loss that will likely determine how soon he will be in contention for the European Welterweight championship again. For the moment, Kelly should take time to recover from this loss then go back to the drawing board.
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