Josh Kelly wants Stadium of Light clash against Conor Benn after David Avanesyan bout

Sunderland-born boxing prodigy Josh Kelly wants to fight at the Stadium of Light.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 10:20 am

The 26-year-old undefeated orthodox puncher and Sunderland AFC fan is set to face powerful Russian fighter David Avenesyan, 36, live on Sky Sports this Saturday, barring any last-minute disasters.

The card, put together by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, also features Robbie Davies Jnr, the super-lightweight who defeated Wearside’s Glenn Foot for the British and Commonwealth straps back in 2018.

But it is the European welterweight title bout between Kelly and Avenesyan – due to take place at Wembley Arena after four rearrangements – which will headline Saturday’s action.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sunderland's Josh Kelly looks on during Boxing at The O2 Arena on April 20, 2019 in London, England.

“I think I can go right to the top. I’m an underdog; I enjoy being an underdog,” said Josh Kelly ahead of the fight.

“It’s not just a win against David Avanesyan; it’s a win against this so-called monster. So I’m ready. It’s a massive step up and a massive gain.

“I think everyone knows what kind of fighter David Avanesyan is. The fight has got to happen now.

“It’s been too long in the making, like he said. It’s got to happen, and it’s going to happen. I expect nonstop pressure from David. That’s what I prepared for,” said Kelly.

Asked he would consider a domestic dust-up with Conor Benn – son of former world champion Nigel Benn – at the Stadium of Light, the Ryhope-born 2016 Olympian replied: “Yeah, that will be the next fight.

“If I can fight in the Stadium of Light and the crowds are back I’ll go there next.”