Sunderland & Houghton boxer Josh Kelly through to World Championship quarter-finals

Josh Kelly
Josh Kelly
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Josh Kelly is through to the quarter-finals of the World Championship.

In the battle of the Joshuas in the last 16 of the U69 kilo division, the Sunderland fighter beat New Zealand’s Joshua Nyika on a unanimous points decision.

Kelly will go into the bout in confident mood after winning every round against the Kiwi


It was another quality show from the 21-year-old, who will now face the formidable figure of number two seed Mohammed Rabii in the last eight on Saturday night.

Kelly will go into the bout in confident mood after winning every round against the Kiwi in the UAE capital.

Two judges gave every round to Kelly, Jasurbek Kurbanov (Uzbekistan) and Rovshan Huseynov (Azerbaijan) scoring it 30-26, with Italy’s Enrico Licini marking it 29-28.

Kelly started well, landing with a good jab while Nyika missed with several shots.

But the first round proved competitive, with the stylish Houghton ABC boxer trying to force the pace, with the New Zealander happy to counter.

Kelly took the opening session 10-9 on all three judges cards but he stepped up a gear in the second.

He came forward throughout, landing four cracking rights, the fourth visibly rocking Nyika, with a left on the bell connecting with Kiwi’s chin.

The scores of the two Eastern European judges reflected his power, with Kurbanov and Huseynov marking it 10-8.

It gave Kelly a massive filip going into the last round and the European Games bronze medallist got through with both fists.

There were a couple of nice counters from Nyika but Kelly had the best of the action including a right-left combination.

The Italian judge gave Nyika the last round but it did not affect the result as Kelly swept to a unanimous points verdict.

Rabii won by the same scoreline in the following contest, defeating Argentina’s Alberto Palmetta.