Sunderland's Josh Kelly set for USA debut on Canelo Alvarez card in New York

Sunderland welterweight Josh Kelly is set to make his debut Stateside on the undercard of world pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez's next fight.

Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 2:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 3:58 pm
Adam Booth (left) with Josh Kelly (right).

Trainer Adam Booth has revealed that as well as fighting on November 10, as expected, Kelly will also be added to the massive Canelo v Rocky Fielding fight night at Madison Square Gardens on Saturday, December 15.

Revealing his busy fight schedule for the next few weeks in an interview with IFL TV, Booth let slip: "I have Michael Conlan next week in Vegas, then I have Ryan Burnett in Glasgow on November 3rd against Nonito Donaire, Josh Kelly on November 10th, then Conlon again on December 8th in New York, and then Josh Kelly again in New York on December 15."

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It represents a very busy end to 2018 for former Rio Olympian Kelly, who last fought on June 16 at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena. That night be claimed the Commonwealth belt from Kris George as the Australian retired on his stool at the start of the seventh round having suffered a suspected broken jaw and two broken hands.

Next month the 24-year-old will return to the ring as one of the supports for Tony Bellew's attempts to become undisputed cruiserweight champion against another one of the world's best fighters Oleksandr Usyk in Manchester.

Kelly's opponent for that fight is set to be named this week, with talks to land a three-time world champion falling through over finance.

Booth said: "He started asking hundreds of thousands of pounds for a 10-rounder against a seven-fight novice."

Josh Kelly fights Carlos Molina earlier this year in Cardiff.

Kelly's trainer does, however, believe the as yet unnamed opponent, will not disappoint, though, as Ryhope lad Kelly continues his meteoric rise in the professional game.

"The opponent for November 10 is a former world champion," said Booth.

Booth has absolute faith Kelly will reach the very top of the pro game, which is a view shared by promoter Eddie Hearn, who has always been keen to get his young prospect across the pond to showcase his talents to American boxing purists.

Booth says Kelly is the best fighter he has ever worked with - and that means a lot given he oversaw David Haye's rise in the cruiserweight division as well as working with George Groves and Burnett.

Josh Kelly (left), Eddie Hearn (middle), Kris George (right).

"The most naturally talented fighter I have worked with is Josh Kelly," said Booth.

"The most genetically gifted individual is David Haye.

"Being genetically gifted is the fast twitch fibres, the natural explosion and power of punch that David Haye had. If David had chosen to be a sprinter, he'd have been an international sprinter.

"If he'd chosen to do anything other than be a fighter where his physical prowess was the determining factor, he would have succeeded in it."

He continued: "What is talent? No one is born with the ability to slip and counter. Josh's understanding, he sees things, reads it and can react to it quickly. In that respect he is very, very advanced for his age and the number of fights he has had.

"He can box, he can punch, he can fight on the inside. His punch power will improve. He can go southpaw, he can press, he can push forward, he can step back. He can do everything as competently as anyone at his level right now.

"Josh is the most complete fighter, with understanding, that I have trained to this day.

"With fighters you have to say 'in this situation, this is what you do'. Then we drill it. With Josh it's 'this is where you are at, what are you going to do'. And he has an answer for it."

Meanwhile, County Durham's Darren Surtees will fight on the World Boxing Super Series again next month, having penned a fight deal with Sauerland Promotions.

He will fight Troy James on the undercard of Josh Taylor's fight with Ryan Martin in Glasgow on November 3.

Last time out light welterweight Surtees blew away Kane Barker in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on the same night Callum Smith became the super middleweight king against Groves.