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Troy Williamson v Josh Kelly: Back Pretty Boy on points at evens

Friday night’s Williamson v Kelly bout on Channel Five kickstarts a busy weekend of professional boxing. Frankie Monkhouse previews and recommends his best bet…

Frank’s Friday night boxing tips
Fight has the makings of a cracker
Back Josh Kelly to bag another win
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Troy Williamson v Josh Kelly
Friday, 22:00
Live on Channel Five

The action starts here
What a weekend of professional boxing we have ahead of us, with the biggest promoters staging exciting cards from major venues featuring some of the UK’s best talent.

All eyes will be on London on Saturday as Tyson Fury defends his WBC world heavyweight title against fellow Englishman Derek WAR Chisora. You can read our in-depth preview and prediction here.

The night before the heavyweights get down to business at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a treat from Newcastle will be shown live on Channel Five.

Terrestrial TV’s home of professional boxing has given us some memorable nights, and this promises to be another as Troy Williamson meets Josh Kelly for the British super-welterweight title.

Trojan prepares for battle

Williamson is an unbeaten fighter from Darlington with an impressive professional record which details 19 wins and one draw. The 31-year-old – nicknamed “Trojan” – is the current keeper of the Lonsdale belt and hopes that remains true at the final bell on Friday on Tyneside.

He is also a former European champion and maintains his desire to move into world title contention. To stand any chance of fighting for the top belts, he must win on Friday.

The only slight blot on an otherwise spotless record came in the form of a draw for Williamson against Jack Flatley over eight rounds in Manchester. That level finish was in the summer of 2018 but didn’t seem to knock Troy’s confidence or ambition.

He quickly returned to winning ways before putting together a run of victories. Trojan has now claimed 14 of his 19 wins inside the distance, resulting in a 70% KO average.

Will he win again on Saturday and set up a money-spinning 2023? That remains to be seen, and the champion knows he will have to be at his best to beat an opponent of Kelly’s skill and experience.

Fight fans using the Betfair Exchange can back Williamson to win at odds of 2.02 while there’s more to be had in the method of victory.

A KO/TKO win trades at 3.25, while a points cheer will net you an interesting 2.3 if things go to plan.

Kelly continues on the comeback trail

At one stage of his career, it looked like Kelly had the world at his feet. He was blowing away domestic rivals in the fashion he had seen from the likes of Kell Brook and Amir Khan during their apprenticeship.

The fighter from Sunderland was picked by many in the know as the future of the division and his performances at the time made that stance difficult to argue. But his journey to the top hit a bump at Wembley almost two years ago.

The fighter dubbed “Pretty Boy” entered the ring to face David Avanesyan with a proud unbeaten record, but he left with his CV in tatters following a painful defeat. Josh was battered by Avanesyan that night in North London, suffering two painful cuts to his head in the early rounds before being dropped to the canvas in round six.

His corner team had seen enough and quickly threw in the towel. It was a savage beating by a stronger and more experienced fighter, but it wasn’t the end of the road.

Since losing to Avanesyan, we have watched Kelly fight only twice. He made a welcome return to winning ways with a fourth-round stoppage of Peter Kramer at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, before beating Lucas Brian Ariel Bastida on points in Newcastle.

That last win came in July, winning Josh the vacant WBO International strap. A third win on the bounce for Kelly is 2.04 on the Betfair Exchange.

Kelly’s class will shine through

Fury v Chisora taking place 24 hours later, will be remembered as the fight of the month, but this scrap will take all the beating.

Both men are at a crucial stage of their careers, knowing what a win over a high-ranking domestic opponent would do for their careers. Victory would catapult one fighter towards the big time, leaving his opponent to fight his way off the scrap pile.

This has all the ingredients of a cracker, but we’re going with the skill, speed, and class of Kelly. Both men carry power in both fists but will show the other the respect they deserve.

Friday won’t be the quick-fire slug-fest the stats suggest it could be. We expect a more reserved and technical bout than an all-action shoot-out. And that’s where Josh’s slick skills will come into play. Back Kelly to win this domestic dust-up.

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