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Josh Kelly stopped by David Avanesyan in sixth round of European welterweight title fight

Josh Kelly suffered the first defeat of his professional career after he was stopped by Russian David Avanesyan in the sixth round of their European welterweight title fight at The SSE Arena in Wembley

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David Avanesyan floored Josh Kelly twice to force stoppage victory

Josh Kelly was left blood-stained and beaten after suffering a sixth-round stoppage loss to David Avanesyan in their European welterweight title fight.

The Sunderland fighter endured his first professional defeat at the hands of Avanesyan, the relentless Russian champion, who forced Kelly's trainer Adam Booth to throw in the towel after two knockdowns at The SSE Arena in Wembley.

Avanesyan had been made to wait for Kelly as the fight was twice postponed, but his sustained assault broke down the 26-year-old's resistance, with British rival Conor Benn watching from ringside as part of the Sky Sports team.

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Kelly must question desire after Avanesyan loss, says Conor Benn

Kelly had showcased his blurring speed in the opening round as he stalked and then uncorked crisp combinations on Avanesyan.

A lightning left hand rocked Avanesyan back onto his heels in the second, but Kelly sustained a cut around the back of his scalp which bled steadily.

Josh Kelly
Image: Kelly had made a confident start in the early rounds

Despite this wound, Kelly darted into range to deliver sharp counters in the third, although Avanesyan was edging closer and dug in spiteful body shots during the fourth.

Right hands from Avanesyan troubled Kelly, while blood coated his face in the fifth, and he wilted to the canvas in the following round.

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HANDOUT PICTURE COMPLIMENTS OF MATCHROOM BOXING.David Avanesyan vs Josh Kelly, European Welterweight  Title.20 February 2021.Picture By Dave Thompson
Image: Avanesyan gradually broke down Kelly's resistance

Two clubbing rights forced Kelly to the floor in the sixth and Avanesyan would not be denied, hammering in more shots to force Booth's intervention.

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