Sunderland fighter Josh Kelly lands first title shot

Josh Kelly celebrates a victory over Tom Whitfield last year. Picture by Tim Richardson
Josh Kelly celebrates a victory over Tom Whitfield last year. Picture by Tim Richardson
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Wearside boxing star Josh Kelly will fight for a title this month – in just his sixth professional fight.

Former Houghton ABC fighter Kelly has been pitted against former world champion Carlos Molina for the WBA International welterweight belt at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on March 31.

The fight will be live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Kelly, a 2016 Olympian celebrating his 24th birthday today, told matchroomboxing.com: “Adam (Booth, his trainer) said it’s time for me to step up, so let’s go.

“I feel this is a real test against a proven fighter.

“He’s a former World Champion so you can’t deny this is my biggest fight to date.

“I can’t wait to step between those ropes in Cardiff and propel myself into the mix.

“He’s never been stopped so it says a lot. Just look at the names on his record that he’s been in with, I know how tough he will be.

“The motivation is to win against any fighter is enough for me, I want to perform on the big stage – I’m very excited to say the least.

“I’m ready for this. I feel physically, mentally and emotionally ready to take this step up and have been for a fight or two.

“I’ve learnt a lot in the fights and in training over the past year and also got to know myself even more.

“The learning process never stops, there’s improvements to be made with each fight and every step up starting March 31.”

The Kelly-Molina bout is a support fight on a big night in the Welsh capital, with Anthony Joshua topping the bill against Joseph Parker in a world heavyweight unification showdown.