Last night, it was Josh Kelly’s (12-1-1, 7 KOs) world and we were just living in it. A flawless performance from the Sunderland man saw him make light work of a tremendously gifted opponent in the dethroned Troy Williamson (19-1-1, 14 KOs).
However, the British Super Welterweight Championship is making its way to Sunderland with ‘PBK’ after a truly phenomenal performance, scored 118-110, 119-109 and119-111 by the judges, live on Channel 5 from the Utilita Arena, Newcastle.
Kelly was consistently in a ‘flow state’ from the opening bell as he was loose and fluid both defensively and offensively. It was as predicted by fans and pundits as Williamson wasn’t quite prepared for the quick start and vicious speed possessed by his opponent.
The left hook from Kelly caused problems throughout the night as it often landed flush whenever thrown, followed by a right uppercut, which proved to be a damning combination.
Williamson never once backed down from the uphill task of trying to keep his belt and close down Kelly. After being dominated in the first round, he was immediately back off his stool to step towards ‘PBK’ and look to shut him down. Kelly proved to be far too switched on for Williamson to land any substantial blows however as the Sunderland man remained confident in circling his opponent from the outside.
The mature performance from the new champion, Kelly, was epitomised in the fifth round as a left hook and right hook had Troy scrambled for a moment. With a slight quiver in his opponent’s legs, Kelly was in no rush to blindly seek a finish. He remained aggressive and aware of any opportunity to present itself, but this was a different fighter existing in his own bubble on the night and he remained in control of his emotions and dictated the bout.
It was more otherworldly moments from Kelly in the seventh round, reincarnating into Muhammad Ali 2.0 briefly as the rope-a-dope style evasion had the arena in awe. His confidence carried him in full control all the way towards the end of the fight as he remained calm, cool and collected with every second of every round.
With questions regarding his gas tank being asked in the build up to this, the eleventh round certainly answered them all as well as the fact he opted to stand between rounds and pace around the ring. He was still spritely, and still so loose and active as he pulled out another tried and tested left hook with a right uppercut. Another mainstay in the fight was Kelly’s movement, constantly snapping jabs at lovely angles to then use his footwork to slide out of the way and leave Williamson turning to find him once again.
In the final round, the Channel 5 commentary team declared this a masterclass from Kelly, which it absolutely was. There was nothing that could have been done on Williamson’s part last night with the type of fighter he faced in front of him. Credit to Williamson who will certainly be back and incredibly likely to hold the Lonsdale belt again having suffered his first defeat in the professional ranks. For Josh Kelly, this is the beginning of something special.
British Super Welterweight Championship:
Josh Kelly def. Troy Williamson via decision – 118-110, 119-109 and 119-111
Lyndon Arthur def. Joel McIntyre via stoppage in the second round
Franklin Ignatius def. Hosea Stewart via decision – 58-56
Joe Laws def. Alexander Zeledon via decision – 39-37
Ben Marksby def. Santiago Garces via decision – 59-56
Katharina Thanderz def. Edina Kiss via decision – 78-75
Sheila Martinez def. Jordan Barker-Porter via decision – 60-54
Ewan Mackenzie def. Angel Emilov via decision – 40-36
Bobby Dalton def. Joel Banderas via decision – 40-37
Travis Waters def. Eligio Palacios via decision – 40-36
Adam Reichard def. Claudio Baldomir via decision – 39-38