Sunderland and Houghton boxer Josh Kelly wins bronze medal at European Games

Josh Kelly
Josh Kelly
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Josh Kelly has won a bronze medal at the European Games.

The Sunderland boxer lost his U69 kilo semi-final in Baku today against home favourite Parviz Baghirov.

Kelly gave it his all, but was beaten on a unanimous points decision by the tournament’s number two seed.

The 21-year-old was given a warm welcome into the Crystal Hall, despite being up against the Azerbaijan hero.

And Kelly gave Baghirov a warm welcome of his own with a superb first round, starting the session with two good rights to the head of his fellow 21-year-old.

The Houghton ABC boxer landed an accurate right to the body and then another to the head.

A strong straight right from Baghirov was about all we saw from the home fighter but Kelly came back with a right-left.

Remarkably, after such a good first round, all three judges awarded it to Baghirov.

Boosted by that scoreline, Baghirov started the second with some good lefts and then ‘got on his bike’ to make Kelly chase him and the Azerbaijan star took the middle session.

Knowing he had to attack in the last to try to force a stoppage, Kelly came forward and scored with both hands with Baghirov landing with some fast hands on the back foot.

The Cuban judge awarded the last round to the Wearsider, but his fellow judges gave it to Baghirov who won on a unanimous verdict.