Sunderland boxer Josh Kelly will go through division 'very quickly' says Eddie Hearn

Josh Kelly celebrates his victory. Picture by STEVE WELSH/ MATCHROOM
Josh Kelly celebrates his victory. Picture by STEVE WELSH/ MATCHROOM
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Top boxing promoter Eddie Hearn predicts Josh Kelly will make rapid progress through the sport after winning his professional fight.

The Matchroom Boxing boss gave Kelly a high-profile debut on the undercard of the Ricky Burns-Julius Indongo world light-welterweight unification showdown in Glasgow.

He also handed him a tough opening test, six rounds against redoubtable Irishman, Jay Byrne,

But Kelly passed the test with flying colours in front of a big crowd at the SSE Hydro Arena, clinching a 59-55 points success, from referee Scott Maxwell.

The Sunderland boxer showed great hand-speed and accuracy, plus flashes of his customary movement.

And, having lost the third round to the game Dubliner, the 23-year-old came back with a vengeance in the fourth and almost broke his opponent in half with a left hook to the body in the fifth.

However, Byrne stayed on his feet and stayed the distance and Hearn was "happy" with what he saw from the Adam Booth-trained talent.

"Josh was excellent," said Hearn, who has installed the moniker 'Pretty Boy' to the former model.

"It was an unusual first fight, boxing a fighter with a winning record, you don't see that very often, and starting with a six rounder.

"Josh coasted through it, he has plenty of fitness.

"He has masses of amateur experience, he dealt with Jay Byrne very comfortably and very easily.

"Adam Booth wants to move him very quickly. Josh has bags of talent and I think you will see him go nice and quickly through the division."

Kelly was pleased with his night's work and will now box at Wembley on the undercard of the Joshua-Klitschko world heavyweight championship spectacular.

"First fight, I felt fit and strong so bring on the next one," said the 2016 Olympian, who was happy to get a 'live' opponent.

"I heard Adam and Eddie shouting 'pick your shots', I think they wanted me to go through my repertoire more.

"Eddie said Jay was coming to fight and that's what I wanted, he's game, I got caught with a couple of cheap shots, punches I don't get caught with in the gym

"But it's all a learning curve for me and I'll step up from this and can't wait for the next one."

In the main event, Burns lost out on a unanimous points verdict to the excellent Indongo in their WBA and IBF confrontation.