Josh Kelly shrugs off pressure as Sunderland welterweight eyes first professional title

Sunderland's Josh Kelly.
Sunderland's Josh Kelly.
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Sunderland welterweight Josh Kelly admits he's not feeling the pressure ahead of his first pro title fight on the Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker undercard.

In just his sixth pro fight Kelly takes on seasoned campaigner Carlos Molina for the vacant World Boxing Association International welterweight title.

It represents a massive step up in class for the 2016 Olympian, whose 34-year-old opponent has been in with the likes of Erislandy Lara, James Kirkland and Cornelius Bundrage, as well as having held the IBF world super welterweight title.

Kelly, whose bout provides one of the main supports for heavyweight sensation Joshua on a stacked card in front of the Sky Sports cameras and a packed Principality Stadium, is not feeling the pressure.

"I don't feel any pressure on me," said Adam Booth trained Kelly.

"It is good to step up for me on such a card.

Josh Kelly with opponent Carlos Molina.

Josh Kelly with opponent Carlos Molina.

"I want to put in a good performance and prove the young talent from Britain can takeover the boxing scene. We are moving on fast."

On his own preparation, Kelly added: "We have prepared diligently and I am felling confident.

"Carlos has a good resume . He comes with a good background, experience but I always dig into my fighters. Have watched him in his prime. I want to nullify the good things and capitalise on his weaknesses. I think it will be a good night and a good fight."

Molina comes to Cardiff to resurrect a career which has stalled since the winter of 2016.

Josh Kelly with trainer Adam Booth.

Josh Kelly with trainer Adam Booth.

And he's confident Kelly can be another step on the way to what he describes as the "greatest comeback in boxing".

"I want to fight over here for so long. I have been asking Eddie Hearn and Matchroom for an opportunity," said Molina at the pre-fight presser.

"I hope it is the first of many.

"I know I had to beat a prospect to get to the top. I don't know when or where.

"That's why I kept myself in training, eating well. I wanted to be ready for this opportunity. My experience is important. The last two fights I had I had to refocus. I don't care if he's had five or 30 fights, I treat it the same way. It is part of the greatest comeback story."