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Carl Greaves reacts to David Avanesyan's stunning first round KO in title defence against Jose del Rio

David Avanesyan stunned an arena of Spaniards as he defended his title with an emphatic first round knockout in Barcelona.

The Russian-born welterweight, who is trained out of Newark by Carl Greaves, needed just two minutes to finish the experienced Jose del Rio as he landed a devastating right upper cut, left hook combination on the launch of Matchroom Spain.

“It was a hell of a body shot,” said Greaves, who has enjoyed his most successful year as a trainer in 2019.

David Avanesyan and Carl Greaves in Barcelona, Spain, after an incredible first round KO.
David Avanesyan and Carl Greaves in Barcelona, Spain, after an incredible first round KO.

“When you have been working on that very shot for a few weeks ­— twisting him up with a right upper cut and then bringing the left hook round the body ­— it was a great feeling and it was really pleasing to see.

“And I knew he wasn’t getting up as soon as he landed.”

Avanesyan was the favourite ahead of the fight, which was streamed live by Sky Sports, but nobody, not even Greaves, expected it to be over inside the first round.

“We were there to win, but not in that fashion,” he said.

“That kid was tough. He had been around a long time and been the distance with some good lads.

“David went out there and made a statement.

“The game plan was to try and hurt him early on to see how he responded.

David Avanesyan celebrates the win in Barcelona. Credit: @adrumor (24513271)
David Avanesyan celebrates the win in Barcelona. Credit: @adrumor (24513271)

“But we didn’t get a response at all.

“He (del Rio) went on the back foot and tried to keep out of the way of everything and David grew in confidence from there and just went on to finish him.”

From the off, the 31-year-old was the aggressor, catching del Rio with a temple shot after 70 seconds.

The home fighter was rocked and Avanesyan pounced, throwing a mix of shots both to the body and head.

The knockout came after a flurry of combinations.

A clean right uppercut set up a perfect left hook to the body, which dropped del Rio, who didn’t survive referee Robin Dolpierre’s count.

The knockout sent shock waves around social media and promoter Eddie Hearn tweeted: “Wow. Brutal performance from Avanesyan.”

And the win may have set up a mouth-watering defence against Sunderland’s Josh Kelly ­— a relatively young boxer with huge potential.

Greaves said: “If Josh comes through all right on Saturday night (against Winston Campos) it will be at the 02 Arena in London on March 28.

“Everybody wants the fight. The only person with doubts is Adam Booth, who is Kelly’s trainer, and as far as I am aware, this is David’s next fight.”

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