Kelly’s first senior GB call boosts Commonwealth Games hopes

Josh Kelly

Josh Kelly

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RISING boxing star Josh Kelly has been included in his first senior GB squad, boosting the Sunderland fighter’s Commonwealth Games hopes.

The 19-year-old will travel with the senior squad to Budapest in Hungary at the start of September on what will be a 16-day trip involving both tournament boxing and a training camp.

It is the first time the teenager from Barnes has been included in the senior squad and that in itself is a big step forward for the Houghton ABC boxer.

His father, Paul, who works as a coach at Houghton ABC, said: “Josh is delighted at being included.

“He wasn’t expecting it and it has given him a big boost.

“I thnk the GB coaches are interested to see how he copes with it.”

The youngster’s career continues to go from strength to strength, having landed a senior ABA title at his first attempt at the Rainton Meadows Arena in April, winning six fights in succession to land the belt.

Kelly is one of only a handful of boxers from Wearside to have accomplished that feat, and he is pushing to build on that, spending four days a fortnight down at the Great Britain squad training centre in Sheffield.

His classy victory over London’s Chris Mbwakongo in the senior ABA final has enhanced the reputation of a young prospect who was already on the GB coaches’ radar.

And now the light welterweight in intent on putting himself in the frame for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year.

“It’s a big thing for Josh to aim for at this stage of his career but he’s working hard and doing his best and the Hungary call up might just help him further,” added his dad.

“He’s fully focused on it and he’ll look to do himself justice when he fights out there.

“He’s still training at Houghton ABC when he’s able to, but the GB Podium and Development squad has become the focus now and they’re working hard to bring him on.”