Can New British Light-Middleweight Champ Josh Kelly Win A World Title?

12/03/2022 - By James Slater - Comments

Going into last night’s fight with defending British light-middleweight champion Troy Williamson, so many people were telling Josh Kelly he was heading into a 50-50 fight, a pick ’em affair. But Kelly wasn’t listening, and instead, he put on a superb performance, very much a masterclass, in almost scoring a shutout over 12 rounds to take the title.

Kelly, a former Olympian who is trained by Adam Booth, won by commanding scores of 119-109, 119-111, and 118-110. Kelly is now 12-1-1(7), and “Pretty Boy,” as the Sunderland man is known, is rightfully receiving a ton of praise for last night’s excellent performance. Williamson of Darlington is now 19-1-1(14), and he is said to be “gutted” due to his defeat.

Kelly, beaten only by David Avanesyan (who is, as we know, soon to face Terence Crawford) this down at welterweight, has now won three in a row up at 154, and last night’s dominant showing has got people talking again about how far the 28-year-old can go.

Kelly got off to a great start last night, hurting Williamson with an uppercut and a right hand. Kelly remained the sharper man all night, landing a big right hand in the fifth. Williamson, who was making the second defense of the belt, just could not get going, getting picked off as he was. Kelly was a little too flashy for some tastes, yet he was enjoying himself as he was making a tough fight look easy.

In the end, there was absolutely zero doubt about who the better man was. Now, Kelly says he wants to win a world title. “Why not?” he said post-fight. Why not, indeed. The aforementioned Booth has genuine praise for his fighter, stating how, “I’ve said from day one he is the most talented fighter I’ve ever worked with.”

Big praise indeed when we know the caliber of fighters Booth has worked with during his career as a trainer: David Haye, George Groves, and Andy Lee, to name three. “He is going to be something special,” Booth said of his latest charge.

Kelly was stopped in six rounds by Avanesyan when they fought in February of last year, and as a result of the loss, some people sort of wrote Kelly off. Now he is back, bigger and more promising than ever. So, can Kelly go on to win a world title at 154 pounds? Plenty of fans who saw last night’s fight will be inclined to believe he can.