Josh Kelly is one of the most promising boxers in Britain. He has competed at the highest level of amateur boxing, winning a bronze medal at the 2015 European Games and representing Great Britain at the 2016 Summer Olympics. He turned professional in 2017 and has since won 13 of his 15 fights, with one draw and one loss. He is the current British light-middleweight champion and a former Commonwealth welterweight champion.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at Josh Kelly’s boxing biography, his achievements, his style and his future plans.
Josh Kelly was born on March 7, 1994 in Sunderland, England. He started boxing at the age of seven at the Houghton and District ABC gym, where he was coached by his father Paul Kelly. He showed great talent and dedication from an early age, winning several national titles as a junior and a senior.
He made his international debut in 2013 at the European Union Championships in Hungary, where he won a silver medal. He followed that up with a bronze medal at the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he beat Ireland’s Adam Nolan in the quarter-finals before losing to Russia’s Parviz Baghirov in the semi-finals.
He qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by winning the European Olympic Qualification Tournament in Turkey. He was one of ten boxers to represent Great Britain at the Olympics, where he competed in the welterweight division. He won his first bout against Egypt’s Walid Mohamed by unanimous decision, but lost his second bout to Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Yeleussinov by unanimous decision. Yeleussinov went on to win the gold medal.
After the Olympics, Kelly decided to turn professional and signed a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. He made his professional debut on April 15, 2017 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, where he beat Jay Byrne by points over six rounds. He impressed with his speed, skill and flair, earning the nickname “Pretty Boy”.
He quickly rose through the ranks of the welterweight division, winning his next six fights by stoppage. He captured his first professional title on June 16, 2018 at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England, where he knocked out Australia’s Kris George in seven rounds to win the Commonwealth welterweight title. He also won the WBA International welterweight title on March 31, 2018 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, where he stopped Mexico’s Carlos Molina in two rounds.
He defended his WBA International title twice, against Poland’s Przemyslaw Runowski and Nicaragua’s Wiston Campos, both by unanimous decision. He also fought to a majority draw with American Ray Robinson on June 1, 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, USA.
He moved up to light-middleweight in 2020 and challenged Russia’s David Avanesyan for the European title on February 20, 2021 at the Wembley Arena in London, England. This was his first major test as a professional and he failed to pass it. He was stopped by Avanesyan in six rounds after being dropped twice and taking heavy punishment.
He bounced back from his first defeat by winning the British light-middleweight title on December 2, 2022 at the Newcastle Arena in Newcastle, England. He beat Troy Williamson by unanimous decision over twelve rounds in a close and competitive fight.
Josh Kelly is known for his flashy and unorthodox style of boxing. He likes to switch stances, use feints and angles, throw fast combinations and showboat. He has been compared to former world champions like Roy Jones Jr., Naseem Hamed and Prince Patel. He has also been criticized for being too cocky and careless at times.
He is trained by Adam Booth, who has worked with other notable boxers like David Haye, George Groves and Andy Lee. He is managed by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and fights on Sky Sports and DAZN platforms.
He is married to Amelia O’Neill, who is also a boxer. They have two children together: Joshua Jr., who was born in 2018, and Isla Rose, who was born in 2020.
Josh Kelly is still young and has plenty of potential to achieve more in boxing. He has expressed his desire to become a world champion someday and has mentioned names like Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr., Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano as possible opponents.
He is currently ranked #10 by the IBF and #15 by the WBO at light-middleweight. He is expected to defend his British title soon and then aim for bigger fights.
Josh Kelly is one of the most exciting and talented boxers in Britain. He has a bright future ahead of him if he can keep improving and learning from his mistakes. He is definitely a boxer to watch out for in 2023 and beyond.