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2020

Exclusive: Josh Kelly talks Matchroom move, Adam Booth and April 15 debut

Joe Hewlett 10/02/2017

It’s been a busy period for Josh Kelly since arriving back from the Olympics last July.

After reaching the last 16 in Rio, Kelly wowed spectators with his heart and skill.

The lad from Sunderland went away contemplating whether he would stay as an amateur and go to Tokyo 2020 or turn professional.

But after a summer with offers from every promotor in the business, the 22-year-old decided to embark a new chapter – joining Matchroom and Eddie Hearn.

“I had offers from all the promotors out there but after speaking to Matchroom I knew it was the option for me,” Kelly exclusively told World Boxing News.

“They are smashing it and I am thrilled to join them. When I spoke to Eddie, we had a laugh and he was very good to me. He’s my boss but at the same time he is like a mate, I guess he’s down with the kids so to speak (he laughed).

“I will be on the undercard of Ricky Burns fight in Scotland, I can’t wait to make my debut in front of a roaring Scottish crowd, they love watching good fights and I hope to bring them some entertainment. The aim is to fight as often as I can this year and next year to get as much experience as I can,” he said.

To top off a remarkable 12 months for the welterweight, he also announced the well respected and experienced Adam Booth as his trainer.

“I have been training with Adam for about six weeks, I originally trained with him for just a couple of times and he then said I was welcome back anytime and it has just carried on since then. We instantly got in with each other and he’s a great trainer. It’s very important to gel with your trainer and we instantly clicked so I’m very happy to be part of his team,” he said.

Kelly has also moved to London since he began training at Booth’s gym. Despite moving away from Tyne and Wear, the Olympian has insisted he’s already settled.

“It’s the first time I’ve moved away from home permanently so it’s a change but I’m loving it. Every day I am training and looking to improve so it’s like being in a training camp for Team GB. Becoming professional is something I have always dreamed of, but the hard work starts now,” he added.

Joe Hewlett is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95