Josh Kelly to face unbeaten Polish opponent as the Sunderland welterweight plots a massive 2019

Josh Kelly will defend his WBA international title against unbeaten Pole Przemyslaw Runowski.

Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 4:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 4:53 pm
Josh Kelly is looking to gatecrash the world welterweight scene in 2019 (Pic via Matchroom Boxing).

As revealed in Echo column 'Fighting Talk' last week, Kelly will take on the 17-0 Eastern European at the O2 Arena on April 20 - a card headlined by popular heavyweight Dave Allen's clash with former world champion Lucas Browne.

"Runowski’s a solid opponent," said welterweight Kelly.

Lewis Ritson (centre) - Pic via Matchroom Boxing.

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"They breed them tough in Eastern Europe but I’m ready to dismantle him and put on a show for everyone in the crowd and watching at home.

"It excites me every time I step through the ropes. This year is going to be massive if everything goes to plan.

"I’ve got to keep my feet firmly on the ground, continue to work and get the results."

Dereck Chisora, Conor Benn and Joe Cordina are also set to be on the card, which has been underwhelmingly received by fight fans.

Elsewhere on the north east fight scene, Lewis Ritson's next opponent has also been confirmed.

Ritson has moved up to light welterweight having conquered the domestic lightweight scene.

He will take on Argentina's German Argentino Benitez for the WBA Inter-Continental title at the Copper Box Arena on March 23.

"Now is the right time to move up to 140lbs," said Ritson, trained by Hartlepool's Neil Fannon.

"I probably should have moved up in weight a while ago but I was determined to test myself on the European scene which is why I carried on. There's no excuses from me though about the last fight.

"You'll see a different Lewis Ritson with the extra 5lbs to play with. The power will be more telling, we were surprised boiling down to make 135lbs I was getting good kids out of there in that fashion. But that shows I have natural power, which will only show with the extra weight."