David Avanesyan-Josh Kelly grudge match given green light for January
Third time’s the charm. At least, that is what Newark boxing trainer Carl Greaves says as he prepares one of his fighters for what he called a world title eliminator.
The David Avanesyan-Josh Kelly bout is a highly-anticipated fight in the boxing world and will see Greaves’ experienced European champion go up against 2016 Great Britain Olympian Kelly.
Russian-born Avanesyan arrived in Newark last week ahead of a gruelling six week camp with Greaves, who is looking to add the finishing touches to the 32-year-old ahead of the fight on January 30.
“Contracts have been signed and as far as we are aware it is go time,” said Greaves.
“We are solely focussed on getting ready for the big fight.
“David is here now and we are training throughout Christmas and over the New Year, but things like this have to be done for such a big fight.
“You have to make sacrifices.
“It is basically a world title eliminator.”
The saga between Avanesyan and Kelly began in 2018 when the two were set to meet at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield.
However, on the morning of the fight, an illness forced Kelly to withdraw from the contest.
This led to Avanesyan’s manager Neil Marsh labelling the Sunderland-born 26-year-old a ‘bottle job’ on Twitter.
Avanesyan, led by trainer Greaves, instead went on to enjoy successful nights in Spain as he earned back-to-back knockout wins against Kerman Lejarraga to win and defend the EBU European welterweight title.
He later returned to Spain with even more success as he recorded a first round knockout in his second defence against Jose del Rio.
Attention again turned to Kelly earlier in the year, but a fight scheduled for late March was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sparks were re-ignited in the pre-fight press conference as Marsh quizzed Adam Booth, Kelly’s trainer, over the pull out in 2018.
Greaves has previously said he believed Kelly was scared to fight Avanesyan and, this time, he said there was no chance of any escape for the Olympian.
“Kelly is very, very good and he was a top amateur — there is no debate about that,” said Greaves.
“But we have been down this road a few times now.
“We know what to expect and what work needs to be done (in regards to preparing Avanesyan for Kelly).
“For us, it is a case of third time lucky with this Kelly fight.
“But we will be fine on the night, no doubt about it.
“We want to put it to bed for good and move on from this.
“We want to get a world title fight.”
Despite having spent less than a week with Avanesyan, Greaves said his fighter was in great shape.
He also praised his dedication to the sport and said there would be no stone left unturned in the lead up to fight night.
“He (Avanesyan) is great to train, “ said Greaves.
“It is hard in the fact that it is an intense camp, which is always difficult as a trainer, but you want that in your fighters.
“He copes with the demands well because of how hard he works all year round.
“He is nowhere near where he will be in a months time, but he has come to me strong, and in good shape.
“He is a top professional and always keeps himself right.
“But he has been training in Russia before travelling over to me, so now it is all about the fine tuning, the sparring, the extra pad work and the technical aspect.
“He is on the ball and he knows the importance of this fight — no doubt about it.”
Florian Marku and Rylan Charlton will meet on the undercard of Avanesyan vs Kelly, which will be live on Sky Sports Boxing.
A venue is yet to be confirmed.