“@JOSHPBK 9-0 and developing quicker than any fighter I’ve ever worked with! Proud of him! Enjoy the ride!”
This tweet was sent out by Adam Booth, trainer of Josh ‘Pretty Boy’ Kelly at 10am, the morning after the Sunderland fighter had easily outpointed Przemyslaw Runowski, putting him down three times in the process, to defend his WBA International welterweight title.
It was a routine win from one of the most exciting professional prospects this country has seen in a long time. It was entertaining, too.
But the responses to the above tweet, from accounts which remain nameless, tell a totally different story.
Here’s the first: “Anyone can see the bloke can fight but the showboating last night was cringe.”
And the second: “Did himself no favours last night.”
The worst of the lot was the third: “Won’t lie, I usually like the guy but I wanted him to get chinned at points because of the extreme showboating. Not knocked out but something to give him more respect for his opponent.”
That’s just a snapshot of the reaction to Kelly’s O2 Arena masterclass. So what was it that got people so worked up?
He’s a confident lad - and so he should be, he’s got movie star good looks and a skill set rivalled by only a select few at any weight on the planet.
And so he shows off a bit in the ring because of that talent - nothing new there. There’s been plenty before and will be plenty after he’s hung up the gloves.
Is that really any reason to want to see a fighter get “chinned” as one Twitter troll put it?
People should be praising Kelly to the hilt, but instead he’s getting stick for being too fast, too skilled and too slick for opponent after opponent.
Carl Froch was even sticking the boot in on Sky Sports! Now I loved Froch, did a number of his fights in Nottingham in my early journalistic days, but come on?!? Froch couldn’t lace Kelly’s boots in terms of boxing skill. He had plenty of other things but skills that pay the bills were not on that list. A chin, yes, skills, not really. Neither, does it seem, respect appears on said list.
*IF, as expected, Anthony Joshua’s next opponent turns out to be Michael Hunter, for June 1 at Madison Square Garden, I’ve no doubt the Twitter trolls will be out in force again.
But, to me, this is actually an upgrade on walking pharmacy, cheeseburger and PED munching heavy Jarell ‘Big Baby’ Miller.
Miller is a pumped up, hype job. Rubbish, in fact.
Hunter, a natural heavyweight from his amateur days, only has one loss on his record - to Oleksandr Usyk, by unanimous decision, back in 2017.