Josh Kelly admits he has room for improvement despite putting a performance promoter Eddie Hearn described as “special”.
The Sunderland welterweight picked up his second belt in just seven fights on Saturday evening at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena - adding the Commonwealth strap to his WBA international title.
But despite outclassing tough Aussie opponent Kris George from bell one, the 24-year-old was far from happy with his show.
“I am not happy. I got complacent. I got caught with a few cheap shots,” said Kelly, whose opponent retired on his stool before the bell for the eighth round could toll.
“When I get complacent I can get caught with a few cheap shots and that shouldn’t happen.
“When I fight and train at the level I know I can, I do not switch off, I can’t switch off.
“The only reason I think I got caught off Kris George tonight was because of me.”
But despite being his own harshest critic, Kelly knew he was strolling to the win on ‘home’ turf when George’s team threw in the towel.
“When I got to the third or fourth round I felt like there was nothing he could really do,” he said.
“I could have boxed against him all night, but I wanted to show something different on the night.
“He said it was his hands but I think it was his heart.
“I feel like he had no answers.”
Hearn admits he’s got something very special on his hands in the 24-year-old former Rio 2016 Olympian.
He said: “He is breezing through that level. He is very special.
“I trust Adam Booth implicitly and he has immense belief in Josh. I just feel like it’s going to keep going and going and going.
“I think the best of Josh Kelly will come out when he at an uncomfortable level. It’s not the next level or the one after.
“It’ll be exciting to find out where it is.”
Meanwhile, Marley Pots’ Glenn Foot came through a four-round war with Sam Omidi.
Foot won 40-36 on the card ahead of his British title tilt later this year.
Gavin McDonnell edged closer to another world title shot with a hard-fought victory over Darlington’s Stuart Hall.
The Doncaster super-bantamweight, who impressively beat emerging prospect Gamal Yafai last time out, again showed his superior boxing skills but was pushed all the way by his senior foe over 12 rounds.
McDonnell took a unanimous verdict via scores of 115-113 and 117-111 twice.
Arfan Iqbal retained his English cruiserweight title after battling to a draw with Middlesbrough’s Simon Vallily, who was left to pay for having two points taken off for repeated illegal blows.