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Josh Kelly's Hometown Showdown with Roarke Knapp Set to Ignite Sunderland

In a homecoming that promises to set hearts racing, Josh Kelly is all set to fight in front of his hometown fans for the very first time as a professional. On December 16, at Sunderland’s Beacon of Light, the “Pretty Boy” will take on South African power-puncher Roarke Knapp in a highly-anticipated match, headlining the Wasserman Boxing show, and it will be exclusively broadcast live on DAZN worldwide. Both fighters are daring to stake their world title ambitions on the line.

Kelly, who has competed across the globe, will be stepping into the ring in his hometown for the first time since 2012 when he was a rising amateur, well on his way to international titles and Olympic qualification. Now a leading contender in the super welterweight division, Kelly’s return home, set in the shadow of the iconic Stadium of Light, promises to be an emotionally charged evening.

Interestingly, Roarke Knapp from Johannesburg also shares a strong connection to the city of Sunderland. Like Kelly, he is a lifelong supporter of Sunderland AFC, thanks to his family ties. Knapp’s father and grandparents were born in the city, and he proudly wears the badge of a Sunderland fan.

Expressing his excitement, Josh Kelly remarked, “I’m so excited to be boxing back home, in Sunderland, for the first time as a professional. I can’t wait to put on a show and get dancing under those lights on December 16th, with the support of my city behind me.”

Roarke Knapp, who is eager to make his mark on the world stage, said, “This is my time to step it up, I belong with the best in the world, and what better way to cement my legacy and introduce myself to the world than in the UK? Kelly is a sublime talent, we’ve both got brilliant styles, and it’s going to be great to mix it up and see who the better man on the night is.”

Kalle Sauerland, Global Head of Boxing at Wasserman Boxing, emphasized the significance of this event, saying, “December 16 is the most important night of Josh Kelly’s career, and so making sure he has the backing of his home fans was vital. Josh is one of British boxing’s most gifted fighters, and now that he is entering his prime, he is ready for all-comers. To prove he is the best in the division, he’s prepared to take on anyone.”

This event adds to the excitement of a fantastic autumn boxing schedule, as Alfie Sharman, VP of DAZN, noted, “Josh Kelly has all the tools to become a World Champion, and on the 16th December, he takes a step closer to fulfilling that potential. Watch it live and exclusive, only on DAZN.”

Josh Kelly, currently ranked as the No. 1 contender by the WBO, holds lofty positions with the IBF and WBC as well. His opponent, Roarke Knapp, with a record of 17-1-1, has built his reputation in South Africa but is now ready to venture overseas to pursue his own world title aspirations. The matchup promises to be a thrilling spectacle and a historic moment for Sunderland’s native son, Josh Kelly, as he takes on the world with his city’s unwavering support.

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