Joshua vs Ruiz Jr: Josh Kelly and Ray Robinson draw in New York
By Matt Horan
Last Updated: 05/06/19 2:24pm
Josh Kelly was held to a majority draw by Ray Robinson at Madison Square Garden.
The North East star once again showed his razor-sharp reflexes and quality counter punching early on but was pegged back by the Philadelphia southpaw in the second half, scores of 96-65 to Kelly and 95-95 twice seeing things finish all square.
The result sees 'Pretty Boy' Kelly suffer the first blemish on his record as he retained his WBA International welterweight title.
Kelly came out in typical fashion with hands down by his side, unleashing a quick flurry of hooks up close in a confident opener, slick head movement seeing him slip anything coming the other way.
Countering well, continuing to evade shots, the Sunderland star thundered home a left hook in the second, before more heavy single shots kept him in command for the next three minutes.
In the fourth, Kelly continued to find the target but his American counterpart started to find success with the jab, able to get on the inside and let his hands go.
With the North East welterweight seemingly cruising to victory, the fight started to change course in the fifth, Kelly initiating a battle at close quarters which suited Robinson, both men exchanging and digging in body blows before the Brit lashed home two heavy rights.
Behind on the scorecards, Robinson, urged on by his corner, piled on the pressure to begin the second half, getting on the inside to outwork and rough his man up.
Kelly was still evading shots nicely but started to offer little in attack in the seventh, opting to sit in the corner and pot-shot off the ropes as a cut developed above his eye.
Regaining a foothold for the final rounds, 'Pretty Boy' saw his accuracy return to see him counter well, but it failed to outscore the work of Robinson in the eyes of the three judges ringside.