Josh Kelly has hit back at claims he ducked out of a fight with David Avanesyan on Saturday afternoon.
The Matchroom star pulled out through illness, although Avanesyan’s manager exclusively told WBN his own thoughts on the matter.
Neil Marsh told World Boxing News: “They say Josh is ill but it’s questionable to me. It’s obvious Josh and Adam know his career is on the line and they want no part of it.
“There’s definitely been a nervousness about Josh Kelly and his team’s behaviour. Now this has happened.
“We thank Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport for the opportunity. But we’d like to apologise to the Sky Sports viewers as the fight is off.
“David Avenesyan was in the best shape of his life and we knew he would beat Josh Kelly.
“I’m absolutely gutted, as you can imagine. David and his trainer Carl Greaves has wasted weeks in camp for a pull-out.”
Undefeated Kelly now says the former world champion will be his first port of call for 2019.
“It’s been hard, to say the least not fighting because of illness doesn’t only affect me but affects others around me as well and for that I’m sorry.
“After weighing in I didn’t feel tip top health-wise and though I would get better, but it has got progressively worse.
“The bugs going around this time of year are rife and I’ve happened to come down with something this close to a fight and that’s killed me inside.
“A feeling that my pride is damaged and that is the worst part of all. The sacrifice of having my baby and going straight back into training after was hard enough missing out on so much time with him.
“So to sacrifice all of that and then this to happen has hurt me deeply. All I can say is sorry to everyone who bought tickets and sorry to David and his team.
“One thing is for sure, David will be my first fight in the new year. I guess this was written and what was meant to be,” he added.