Josh Kelly loses perfect record on US debut as he records Ray Robinson draw

There was no 'perfect 10' for Josh Kelly as he recorded a majority draw on his USA debut.

By Liam Kennedy
Sunday, 02 June, 2019, 01:42
Josh Kelly evades a lunge from Ray Robinson (Mark Robinson/Matchroom).

At Madison Square Garden, New York, last night the 10-rounder against Philadelphia southpaw Ray Robinson went to the judges with one scoring it 96-95 in favour of Kelly, with the other two going 95-95.

As a result, Kelly retains his WBA International title. His Commonwealth strap was, of course, not on the line on the evening.

Below is our boxing writer Liam Kennedy's round-by-round analysis...

Rnd 1: Kelly relaxed out there. Enjoying his boxing. Some brilliant defensive work as he makes Robinson miss at will. Shaded the opener.

Rnd 2: Good left hook from Kelly, best shot of the fight. The first two rounds have been all at Kelly's pace. Robinson fires back with a few later in the round.

Rnd 3: A slip and counter masterclass. This fight is yet to really take off but it's an intriguing one. Some good bodywork by Kelly. In, out. Hit, don't get hit. A little bit of afters at the bell as Kelly lands on the bell and Robinson fires back.

Rnd 4: Robinson has long limbs/reach but he's really struggling to land as Kelly gets in and out in a flash. Kelly laying plenty of traps. Robinson isn't biting too much but Sunderland fighter definitely doing better work. Robinson finishes round well but must be frustrated.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Rnd 5: Probably Robinson's best round of the fight. Managed to get in close and have a little success. Closed the gaps and made Kelly work. Got through with a few. Robinson's round.

Rnd 6: Robinson getting in close again. Kelly's reflexes and pivots mostly keep him out of trouble. Robinson starts round well but Kelly has the last say. Needs to keep fighting at distance and this is a stroll in the park.

Rnd 7: Robinson opens up a cut on the right eye of Josh Kelly. Caught with one or two but nothing really troubling him. The home fighter is definitely growing in confidence. Kelly needs to up it a bit just to take back control of the contest. And Kelly was caught after the bell there. Bit naughty from Robinson. But he's getting himself into this one as it enters the later rounds.

Rnd 8: Kelly caught with a decent left. And another. Kelly getting caught a little too often. Massive right from Kelly, then a left. Another Robinson round. or Kelly? Interesting to see what judges are spotting. Do they like the work of Robinson or the skill of Kelly?

Rnd 9: Another round where I'd say Kelly shaded it but could go either way. Kelly and Robinson take it to each other, best action of the fight. Take one to land one from both men. Close, close rounds.

Rnd 10: Some ragged work from both men ends this contest. Two tired men. Better work, for me, again from Kelly. Cleaner shots came from the Sunderland man. I've got him winning by a couple of rounds, it goes to the judges. Cuts on both eyes for Kelly. Early rounds Robinson couldn't touch Kelly but as fight went on that all changed. For me, Kelly shades it by two rounds. Robinson thinks he's won it as he mounts the corner to celebrate in front of the MSG crowd...

RESULT - It's a majority draw. No perfect 10 for Kelly as he gets a 96-95 from one judge but two go 95-95.