Sunderland's Olympic boxer Josh Kelly turns professional with Eddie Hearn, Sky Sports

Josh Kelly (right) on the attack at the Olympics in Rio
Josh Kelly (right) on the attack at the Olympics in Rio
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Olympic boxer Josh Kelly has turned professional with top promoter Eddie Hearn.

Matchroom boxing's boss announced the signing of the Sunderland fighter live on Sky Sports.

Kelly's decision to join the paid ranks was hardly a surprise, given footage and pictures of him training at Adam Booth's London gym emerged recently on social media.

But the destination of the 22-year-old is now known and surely the way looks up for the Olympian, who will make his pro debut in Glasgow on Saturday, April 15.

"I'm delighted to welcome another Olympian to the team in Josh Kelly,” said Hearn, who had already signed Rio team-mates Lawrence Okolie and Joe Cordina.

"Josh is an exceptional talent and looks a million dollars, I really feel that he can cross over and become a star in the sport.

"Fans are really going to enjoy following Josh's journey on Sky Sports and I look forward to guiding him to a World title."

The entertaining boxer has based himself in Surrey and will fight out of the capital's Boxing Booth, a gym which includes world champion Billy Joe Saunders.

Kelly's style looks tailor-made for the pro game and for TV audiences.

He is certainly promising excitement.

“I want to get fans across the whole of Britain and beyond to want to watch me and come to my fights,” said Kelly.

“I think they'll see flash and flair, and there will be KOs too."

Kelly did not come home from Rio with a medal but he certainly emerged with his reputation enhanced.

The Houghton ABC star won his round of 32 match in the welterweight division against Egypt’s Walid Mohamed by a unanimous decision, only to be drawn against the excellent Daniyar Yeleussinov in the next stage.

Kelly fought the number two seed all the way with the Kazakhstan boxer going on to strike gold.

“I drew the eventual champion in the Olympics and I really think that there were just two or three punch difference in each of the rounds," said the former ABA champ, from Ryhope.

"It could've been a different story but that's how it goes. I've moved on from that."