Ryan Kelly has put his rivals on notice that’s almost ready to become a contender in the super welterweight division again.
His comeback trail continues at the Holiday Inn Queensway, in Birmingham city centre, on the evening of Thursday December 2, as part of a show staged by BCB Promotions.
It was under the BCB banner where the Brummie, from Chelmsley Wood, returned after nearly two years on the sidelines, at the H Suite in Edgbaston on October 16.
‘Ruthless’ racked up a 15th pro victory, in his 18th outing, with former amateur coach John Costello back in the corner, who first trained him as a child.
Kelly was in control throughout proceedings against Dwain ‘Cheeky’ Grant, easing to a landslide points whitewash. After that 60-54 scoreline, more six-round action awaits him.
The 27-year-old reckons he’s another victory away from getting back into the title race, too, after previously challenging for WBC International Silver and WBO European honours.
He once ruled the area scene, claiming the Midlands crown, at the second attempt, by seventh round TKO over Owen Jobburn, one of seven stoppages on his pro ledger.
Further dispelling a narrow points loss to Adam Harper for the Midlands title that took his ‘0,’ Kelly wiped out Kelcie Ball in just a round of his one and only title defence.
Stripping down to welter to vie for the WBC International Silver bauble against Michael McKinson provided to be misguided, as he was unanimously outpointed by some distance.
He was back at super welter to take on Hamzah Sheeraz for the WBO European strap, where he led on the score-cards before getting sucker-punched in the sixth.
Redressing the balance last time out got him back up and running again, with Kelly of the opinion one more positive result could make all of the difference.
He said: “I had a little break, after my last fight, but I was back in the gym within less than a week. I’d rather just keep the momentum going.
“There’s nothing wrong with a bit of down-time, but I’d spent months preparing to get going again and I don’t want to lose that level of fitness.
“I felt good in the ring. He was a spoiler and I know he would cause a lot of other guys problems. In that respect, he was a decent opponent.
“I think I needed that, I wouldn’t have learned much by going against a journeyman and getting the stoppage, without really having to move through the gears.
“My performance was down to experience. I knew not to get too involved in his tactics and I stuck to my boxing, which I know I’m good at.
“After two years out, you worry about your timing, speed and perhaps even durability, but I think I did enough to show that I pressed through that.
“I caught him with a left hand, in the second round, and felt his legs go. He seemed to back-pedal, from there, but I felt they were six solid rounds.
“I got the job done, I’ll be looking for the same this time and, after that, the division could really open up for me. When we get to 2022, it could well be my year.
“I’m still in the top 16, so this could be the last warm-up and then I’ll be after the big prizes again. I’m in good stead, so that’s exciting and it motivates me every day.
“I’ve been in with good lads and held my own – my fans have seen me in enough 10-round dogfights. I’ll never come to make up the numbers, I’ll be there to win.
“I can’t tell you too much, but there have been talks about title opportunities and that’s what I’m all about going for. When that comes along, you will see the best version of me.”
Tickets for the Holiday Inn offering are available now, priced at £40 standard or £80 VIP ringside with buffet per day, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.