Josh Kelly to learn and improve after first career setback

JOSH KELLY
Image: Josh Kelly is trained by Adam Booth

Josh Kelly has taken valuable lessons from his draw with Ray Robinson and vowed to return a better and more improved fighter.

The North East star suffered the first blemish on his professional record as he made his US debut, the welterweight scrap finishing all square after 10 rounds of action at New York's Madison Square Garden.

June 1, 2019; New York, NY; Josh Kelly and Ray Robinson during their bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing UK
Image: Kelly retained his International title

Retaining his WBA International title, Kelly feels he had done enough to take the verdict but will accept the judges' decision and take positive things from his first venture stateside.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed," the Rio 2016 Olympian told Sky Sports News, "I knew it wasn't my best performance.

"Even so, I watched the fight back this morning, feeling a bit more positive about it, and being truly harsh on myself and unbiased, I scored it 6-4 in my favour.

"I thought I just edged it out with the clean shots, especially in the last couple of rounds. I got lost in the mid-rounds, but I think I done enough early and late on to take the fight. It's all perspective, it's judging at the end of the day.

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Sky Sports' Carl Froch analyses Josh Kelly's draw against Ray Robinson

"It's not a loss, a lot of greats have drawn early on in their career, 'Canelo' for example. I'm not comparing myself to these guys, but am trying to learn from it a lot."

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Kelly had raced to 9-0 but readily took a significant step-up in class against former Shawn Porter foe Robinson, the American having drawn with unbeaten contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas in his previous outing.

"I've got a lot to improve on," Kelly continued, "Robinson is no mug, he just controversially drew with Kavaliauskas who was next in line for Terence Crawford, a lot of people had him winning.

"So if you're talking on those levels and it's only my 10th fight, we can take positivity away. It's looking good.

"It was a big step up in a massive venue with a lot of travelling, I knew it would be difficult. I'll come back a lot better off this.

"I know I'm nowhere near world titles but I'm around about a top-10 fighter, you take the yardstick of Robinson and I'm there or thereabouts."

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