Williamson vs Kelly set for December in Newcastle


Troy Williams will defend his British junior middleweight title against Josh Kelly in a December fight in Newcastle, Probellum announced on Saturday.

Williamson (19-0-1, 14 KO) took the belt from Ted Cheeseman in Oct. 2021, stopping Cheeseman via brutal knockout in the 10th round of a fight in Liverpool, and staking a clear claim as the top domestic fighter at 154 lbs.

He’s since defended the title once, beating Mason Cartwright by decision on Mar. 25 in Newcastle, and just fought on Saturday in a stay-busy fight at 168 lbs in Bolton, winning a sixth round TKO over a club fighter named David Benitez.

That fight sets Williamson, 31, up to not come in with nine months or so of inactivity before facing Kelly (12-1-1, 7 KO), a former Olympian who has struggled to really break through as a pro. The 28-year-old Kelly had high hopes coming into the pro ranks in 2017 and tried to make his mark at welterweight, but a draw with Ray Robinson in 2019 and a stoppage loss to David Avanesyan in 2021 dashed some hopes.

After parting ways with Matchroom and taking 16 months off, Kelly returned to the ring on June 17 and July 30, scoring wins over Peter Kramer and Lucas Bastida, a fourth round stoppage and 10-round unanimous decision, respectively.

The win over Bastida netted Kelly a minor WBO trinket, but the bout with Williamson has been talked up a good bit, and now will happen.

An exact date was not noted in the press release.

“I’m so happy Josh has agreed to fight me because this is a monster of a fight for British boxing and it will be shown live to a huge television audience,” Williamson said.

“But Josh, mark my words, you have made a huge mistake because you have never faced anyone like me, and I will grind you down and stop you. Your Olympic pedigree will count for nothing when the going gets tough and I drag you into deep waters.”

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