Josh Kelly ‘most talented fighter I’ve ever worked with’ says David Haye’s coach Adam Booth

Josh Kelly on his way to victory on Wednesday night. Picture by Lawrence Lustig.
Josh Kelly on his way to victory on Wednesday night. Picture by Lawrence Lustig.
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Josh Kelly will become not only a world champion but one Britain’s greatest champions.

That is the view of coach, Adam Booth, after the gifted Sunderland star made it five wins as a pro.

Kelly is not just good, he is sensational and Booth is a man who knows given he guided David Haye to the WBA world title.

“I only talk in terms of world champions,” said the Londoner.

“Josh has such a unique skill set, he’s the most talented fighter I’ve ever worked with.

“He is the most complete fighter at this stage of his career, I see him becoming world champion.

“Not just a world champion but a world champion who really catches the public’s imagination.”

A world title fight could well happen at the Stadium of Light – promoter Eddie Hearn has made such events happen in very recent times with Tony Bellew becoming the world cruiserweight champ at Goodison Park and Kell Brook fighting at Bramall Lane.

What’s next for Kelly?

He can’t fight for the European championship because he’s not yet had seven contests, but the British and Commonwealth crowns are options and there is a plethora of international belts.

“We’ll sit back, we’ll look who’s out there,” admitted Booth.

“We’ll look how to make the progressive steps, the progressive challenges and then look to make the matches.

“I tell Eddie and his team [what we want] and then it’s down to them to do it.

“Matchroom are the best in the business at securing the fights to get boxers where they need to be.”

Kelly clinched his fifth victory, and his fourth straight success inside the distance, when he stopped Jean Michel Hamilcaro in the sixth round at the York Hall on Wednesday night.

The 23-year-old was a little frustrated that the IBF Mediterrenean light-middleweight champ ran for the entire bout, which had been scheduled for 10 rounds.

“He was a tough guy on the retreat, he wasn’t the sort of fighter you could get rid of him with one shot,” added Booth.

“It is frustrating, Josh was ready for a test, ready for a fight, he didn’t get one but he was as impressive as he could be against such an experienced, durable, negative opponent.

“That guy’s ranked 14 by the EBU at light-middle, he’s never boxed like that before.

“Whether he got in his own head by watching too many films of Josh, I don’t know.

“I was pleased with him. He’s inexperienced and he needs experience. Between rounds I could see he was getting a bit gutted because he didn’t have the fight to show the things he wanted to.

“But it’s a win and he moves on.

“I’m happy with him, he’s improving all the time in the gym. He’s a joy to coach, I can’t criticise him in any way.”