Josh Kelly beats Troy Williamson to become new British light-middleweight champion

Josh Kelly
Josh Kelly now has three wins since Russian David Avanesyan took his unbeaten record in 2021

Josh Kelly secured a unanimous points victory over Troy Williamson at Newcastle Arena to become the new British light-middleweight champion.

Williamson, 31, was making his second defence of the title against Kelly, who also hails from the north east.

But Kelly took the fight to Williamson in the first round and remained dominant, with the judges scoring it 118-110, 119-109 and 119-111.

The challenger, 28, also inflicted the first loss of Williamson’s career.

The Darlington fighter now has a record of 19-1-1 while Kelly is 13-1-1 after following up wins over Peter Kramer and Lucas Bastida earlier this year.

Sunderland’s Kelly, an Olympian at the Rio Games in 2016, has rebuilt his career since losing to Russian David Avanesyan in 2021 to earn a shot at the British title.

Before the fight, Kelly’s trainer Adam Booth said it was the best British match-up of the year. It turned out to be surprisingly one-sided, though, with Kelly rocking Williamson with a flying start.

The defending champion managed to regroup and shook Kelly with a right hand in the fourth, but Kelly’s confidence was clear as he remained standing between rounds.

He unleashed a flurry of punches in the fifth before Williamson showed some frustration and Kelly began to express himself in the latter rounds, knowing that only an unlikely knockout would keep Williamson’s unbeaten record intact.

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