Sunderland’s Josh “Pretty Boy” Kelly beat Troy Williamson by unanimous decision at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena to become the British champion at 154lbs. Scorecards of 118-110, 119-109 and 119-111 secured his victory.
Kelly came out in round one as expected, starting incredibly fast and hurting Williamson on multiple occasions with lightning punches. The next rounds followed a similar pattern, with Kelly boxing well on the back foot. It was the Sunderland man who was getting the better of the exchanges on the inside, proving very hard to hit for the “Trojan”.
The jab of Kelly was prominent in round four, looking way too sharp for Williamson. However, at the end of the round, the Trojan landed a huge right hand which undoubtedly caught the attention of Kelly, lifting a crowd certainly in favour of the champion.
At the start of round five, the legs of Williamson almost gave way, as Kelly landed a big jab, right-hand which followed with a huge amount of pressure. Another round for the challenger, who was certainly up 5-0 on the scorecards.
Entering round six, the time in the fight when Kelly was toppled by David Avanesyan in 2021, the question was how much was left in Kelly’s gas tank? What followed was another round of Williamson chasing Kelly around the ring, unable to land anything meaningful. The fight was following the path which everyone expected, the challenger dominating the first half of the fight. Could he keep up this masterful performance?
Despite little pockets of success for the Trojan, Kelly looked outstanding in round seven – boxing as well as he ever has, stopping the champion in his tracks and making him miss, arguably humiliating him. The punch variety from Kelly and the hand speed was a nightmare for Williamson, who was getting hit at will. The presumption before the fight was that Williamson would come on in the second half of the fight, but he was still being outclassed.
The counter left hook from Kelly was potentially the punch of the fight, he couldn’t miss with it. Round nine saw the champion hurt again, with a big right uppercut. It was becoming a tough night for Williamson, who continually struggled to close the gap, something I predicted in my preview.
Kelly’s impeccable footwork made him a forever moving target and he knew to never stand in front of the Darlington man with the threat of the power coming in the other way. Despite a cut on the forehead in the 11th round, Pretty Boy still boxed beautifully, landing the left hook at will. Although the effort from the champion was undeniable, Kelly proved too quick and too sharp, putting on a career best performance.
When the judges’ decision came, Kelly added the British title to his collection of belts, taking the bout by unanimous decision with extremely wide scorecards mirroring his domination in the fight.