David Avanesyan beats Josh Kelly to retain European welterweight title

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Avanesyan has lost three times since making his professional debut in 2009

Brit Josh Kelly suffered his first professional career defeat when Russian David Avanesyan defended his European welterweight title.

The fight, postponed three times from its original date in 2018, resulted in violent action at Wembley Arena.

The 26-year-old Kelly with 10 wins and one draw before shook his 32-year-old opponent with a left hook in round two.

But Avanesyan cut Kelly’s eye on the same lap and under constant pressure the towel was thrown in on lap six.

Both men fought for the first time since December 2019 and after Kelly’s impressive start, the shorter Avanesyan began to exert control.

Kelly received a standing count on the sixth and when Avanesyan’s body and head combinations continued, the Sunderland boxer’s team spared their bloody husband from further punishment.

Avanesyan UK coach Carl Greaves told Sky Sports: “I knew exactly what was going to happen next. I’ve been with David for over five years and he always finds a way. I was so confident in this fight.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn gave the Russian a tip for a world title and said: “Sometimes you come across a man who is not denied, who is too strong, who has the will beyond others, and tonight it was David Avanesyan.”

“Josh Kelly was in the shape of his life, but this man [Avanesyan] wouldn’t be denied. He was too tough and deserves his success.

“We saw a world class welterweight against a really good prospect who I think might be a world class fighter, but it was overwhelmed, competitive and as good as the start you could see it untangle . “

“Josh Kelly made the step up and should be applauded for. He fought a world-class fighter but he’s a young man and can come back.”

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