Betting preview: Josh Kelly could have his hands full ahead of European title clash

David Avanesyan will finally get his chance to shock the world as his fight with one of Matchroom's brightest stars has been rescheduled for a third time.

David Avanesyan and Josh Kelly will finally get the chance to commence battle for the EBU welterweight title.

Eddie Hearn announced five fight cards last week and this one is possibly the most exciting fight of them all, especially when you think of the bad blood between the two camps.

Avanesyan's manager Neil Marsh began the war-of-words with PBK's manager and trainer Adam Booth after Kelly had pulled out from their original fight date on the night itself due to illness by branding him a 'conman'.

"I have plenty of respect for Adam Booth as a trainer, but none whatsoever for him as a man.

"All through the build-up we sensed nervousness from their side and the night before the weigh-in, I received a call that they wanted to adjust the fight from 12 rounds to 10, stipulating that it always should have been 10 rounds and that is the rules," Marsh told Boxing Scene.

"They underestimated my experience with the WBA, who I have worked with as both a manager and promoter at all levels, so I got in contact with their European chief. I confirmed with them that it was a 12 round fight for a title, which was the contract submitted and the fight that they approved.

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"I met with Adam Booth, I called him out and asked him why he wanted to cheat David out of two rounds? He replied it was always a 10 round fight, which again I called him out on and replied that he didn't want the fight.

"He first threatened to lose the title to make it a 10 round non-title fight and then threatened to pull out of the fight there and then, unless it was changed to 10 rounds. In short, they bottled it.

"When is the fight?They are expected to fight on February 20. The whole boxing fraternity hope it is third time lucky after the bout got rescheduled from January 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of rising cases at the start of 2021, the British Boxing Board of Control postponed fights across the board until February. 

How to watch the fight

Matchroom Boxing will be promoting the event which means UK fans will get the chance to see the intriguing encounter on Sky Sports. Across the pacific, American and Canadian fans will be able to watch it on DAZN.

DAZN territories in Germany, Spain and Italy will also be able to watch Avanesyan vs Kelly on the OTT streaming service if they are subscribed to the platform.

Kelly is deemed lucky to have remained unbeaten after leaving Madison Square Garden with a draw against Robinson in 2019
Kelly is deemed lucky to have remained unbeaten after leaving Madison Square Garden with a draw against Robinson in 2019

In one short word - yes. Had they fought when the fight was originally slated in 2018 then perhaps many would have favored the Russian fighter but in boxing, timing is everything and with Avanesyan now at the age of 32 and as inactive as Kelly, youth should prevail.

Kelly - who drew to Ray Robinson at Madison Square Garden on the same night Andy Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua - last fought in December 2019 and has become one of the forgotten prospects alongside Joe Cordina in the Matchroom stable.

Once seen as the most exciting rising star from the class of 2016 from the Olympics, it is now up to Kelly to remind people about his dazzling skills and ability to entertain in the ring.

Should Kelly come through his testing clash then a potential mouth-watering domestic dust-up with Conor Benn could come into fruition in the summer - as long as Benn wins his against Samuel Vargas too.

In boxing, you must take one fight at a time, though and the fight between Avanesyan and Kelly is one to be excited for next month.

Fight Odds

Fight Odds with Paddy Power are likely to change in due course:

Avanesyan 10/11

Draw 18/1

Kelly 5/6

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