David Avanesyan (27-3-1, 15 KOs) was like a locomotive picking up a head of steam with the way he systematically broke 2016 Olympian Josh ‘Pretty Boy’ Kelly (10-1-1, 6 KOs) down with power shots until his corner threw in the towel to save him in the sixth round on Saturday night at the Wembley Arena in London, England.
Avanesyan dropped Kelly twice in the sixth round, which led to his cornerman Adam Booth throwing in the towel to have the contest stopped. The official time of the stoppage came at 2:15 of round six.
Kelly, 26, looked like a bloody mess at the start of the sixth round, and the writing was already on the wall by that point. In a questionable move, Kelly fought Avanesyan in close in the sixth in what appeared to be an attempt to smother his power.
You can understand why Kelly made this move, as Avanesyan was winding with massive punches and hurting Josh to the head and body. Unfortunately for Kelly, when he went inside on Avanesyan in the sixth, it resulted in him landing clubbing shots to the side of his at point-blank range.
Avanesyan’s power at close range was just was almost good as it was from the distance. Kelly wasn’t ready for that. At one point, Avaneysan landed three consecutive clubbing right hands to the head of Kelly that caused him to bent forward at the waist.
Avaneysan then nailed Kelly once more to the back of the head to put him down for the first knockdown of the sixth.
When Kelly got back up, he looked at the referee and shook his head to let him know that the knockdown shouldn’t have counted, but he was getting no sympathy.
When the action resumed, Avanesyan landed a beautiful left hook to the head of Kelly that caused his legs to give out on him momentarily.
Avanesyan then dashed forward landed a big right to the head that put Kelly down. At that point, trainer Adam Booth threw in the towel to have the contest stopped. It’s too bad the fight was stopped because it would have been interesting to see if Kelly could have gotten his wits together to survive the round.
Kelly had been wearing down from the fourth round, and it was only a matter of time before Avaneysan put him out of his misery.
The punching power of Avanesyan was out of this world good tonight. You can’t blame Kelly for not being able to handle the shots that he was getting hit because there are not too many fighters in the 147-lb division that would have been able to take those punches.
Avanesyan looked like a smaller version of Artur Beterbiev with the way that he was able to generate immense power from close range.
Where the fight got out of hand was in the fifth round when Avanesyan started to connect with body shots. Kelly couldn’t handle the shots to the midsection, and he immediately started running. He looked like a human battery that was losing its charge all it once.
When Avanesyan saw how Kelly was reacted to the body shots, he chased after him and continued to land. It was no longer a fight at that point. It was a scale rout with Kelly retreating and getting battered.
Other results on the card:
Welterweight prospect Florian Marku (8-0-1, 6 KOs) had to get up off the deck to come back to stop Rylan Charlton (6-1-1, 3 KOs) in the eighth round.
Marku hurt Charlton with a body shot and was pummeling him at the time his corner threw in the towel. Two rounds earlier, Charlton had dropped Marku.
Gabriel Valenzuela (23-2-1, 13 KOs) defeated Robbie Davies Jr (20-3, 13 KOs) by a 10 round majority decision to capture the vacant IBF Intercontinental light welterweight belt.
In the third round, Valenzuela knocked Davies down. In the next round, Valenzuela lost a point for hitting on the break. Fom that point on, it was all Valenzuela in battering Davies. The final judges’ scores were 96-95, 96-95, and 94-04.