Trainer Adam Booth is backing Josh Kelly to stay cool when the heat is ramped up in his weekend Commonwealth title bid.
The Sunderland welterweight takes on Aussie Kris George at Newcastle’s Metro Arena on Saturday night and Booth thinks his fighter is perfectly suited to dealing with the pressure that comes with headlining a home bill, as well as the strap that’s on the line.
“When he is under fire, when someone is loading up and really trying to hurt him, he becomes more relaxed,” said Booth, who has coached David Haye, George Groves and Andy Lee in the past.
“He sees things clearer.
“You have to be a certain calibre of fighter to do that.
“What he is, before anything else, is a tough kid from the North East. Forget what he looks like.
“Forget how he moves. He has an incredible skillset and a high boxing IQ.
“He looks like he should be on a reality TV show. But he can fight like anything.”
Kelly himself is relaxed about the future.
When it is suggested that he could be fighting for a world title before his 10th professional bout, he said: “Three fights’ time? I’m not sure.
“With the people at the top, there is quality. In fact, it is stacked from domestic level upwards.
“You have Bradley Skeete, Frankie Gavin still there or there abouts.
“You have (Mohamed) Mimoune who beat (Sam) Eggington, you have Ceferino (Garcia).
“There is a lot going on in this division.
“A world title before 10 fights would be very, very fast.”
Meanwhile, fellow Sunderland fighter Glenn Foot is also set to be on the card.
While no opponent has been announced for Saturday night, the rumour is Manchester’s Sam Omidi could be the man in the opposite corner.
He’s a 27-year-old with a fight record of 5-12-2.
Official confirmation of Foot’s foe is expected at this afternoon’s press conference, which will be held at Newcastle’s Civic Centre.