Josh Kelly vows to break down Commonwealth champion and unite North East football factions

Sunderland's Josh Kelly has vowed to '˜break down' opponent Kris George and snatch away his Commonwealth title.

Monday, 28th May 2018, 12:14 pm
Updated Monday, 28th May 2018, 12:16 pm
Josh Kelly enjoys a laugh with promoter Eddie Hearn. Picture by Stu Norton.

In less than four weeks the Ryhope welterweight, a Great British Olympian in Rio 2016, will co-headline a massive night of boxing for the North East, as Eddie Hearn brings his Matchroom Sport Goliath to the banks of the Tyne.

June 16 and Newcastle’s Metro Arena will play host to Kelly’s hotly anticipated bout with Australian champion George, alongside Forest Hall lightweight Lewis Ritson’s bid to claim the Lonsdale belt outright against Paul Hyland Jr.

And supremely confident Kelly is sure he will put on a show for the north east crowd next month against a “raw” opponent.

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“I will break him down,” said the WBA international title holder.

“I feel as though he will be confident.

“He is tough and raw – they all are.

“I will win that title on June 16.”

At just 24, Kelly has the world at his feet.

Promoter Hearn and experienced trainer Adam Booth, who used to coach the likes of David Haye and current super-middleweight world champion George Groves, have already talked about moving Kelly up through the ranks quicker than most, such is the level of his talent.

And just seven fights into what many hope will be a lengthy, succesful career, Kelly has the chance to add a second, much more prestigious belt to his collection.

And he hopes that whether red and white, black and white or any other supporter, they will all back him on his way to glory.

When asked whether he can unite the footballing factions of the North East, former Houghton ABC star Kelly responded: “Hopefully.

“We want to see the the North East crowd get behind everyone.

“The Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough split goes out the window in this sport. We need to support each other.

“In the North East, you have less opportunities than you do elsewhere in the country, so we can be proud that we are headlining on a show in the area on Sky Sports. It is massive for all of us on the card.

“I can’t wait to put on a performance.”