Ryan Kelly shouldn’t be far off another crack at making his mark on the national stage after getting active again with a keep-busy contest.
He’s back in action as part of BCB Promotions’ final bill of the year at the Hangar Events Venue, in Wolverhampton, on the Friday night of December 16.
Kelly was furious, at the final bell, where he was edged out on a split decision. One judge had him 97-93 up on points, with the two others scoring it 96-94 and 96-95 for Pauls.
Calls for a sequel were made almost immediately, but the bout hasn’t come to pass.
Brummie Kelly, from Chelmsley Wood, hasn’t gone past holding area honours, but has challenged for WBO European and WBC International baubles.
His pro record stands at 16 wins and four losses from 20 pro contests. Pauls aside, the other three defeats were for titles against Adam Harper, Michael McKinson and Hamzah Sheeraz.
‘Ruthless’ also has a 50 per cent TKO rate, when coming out on top, with eight stoppages. The last came when he halted Ilyian Markov in five rounds last December.
He said: “It’s been a difficult few months, just staying in the gym and ticking over, so I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring and letting my hands go again.
“I’ll never give up on getting the rematch with Brad Pauls, but I have to move on, in the meantime. We can do it whenever he wants, he will never catch me off guard.
“I truly believed that I’d beaten him that night, because I felt that comfortable in there. I really didn’t see it going the other way and the result was, in my opinion, disgusting.
“I felt that I’d won clearly and that was with one hand. My left hand was swollen, from round two, and it wasn’t easy, but I got to the finish. We struggled to get it out of the glove.
“As soon as it was over, I had 10 days out of the gym and then we had a date for a rematch, but he pulled out, for no good reason that I’ve ever been given.
“With the time that has passed, it’s obvious that he doesn’t want any part of me again. He can do whatever on social media, he’s blocked me so I can’t have a go back anyway!
“I’ve never refused an opponent, I’ve always got in there and had a go. I can’t let him, or anyone else, hold me back, when I’m there or thereabouts at that level.
“I’m 29 in January, I’m coming towards the later part of my career and I’ve got to get some sort of title around my waist in 2023. There’s no reason why that shouldn’t happen.
“I’m just glad to be back out, before the end of the year. I’ve never overlooked anyone and this is no different. I want the win and to look good.”
Tickets for the Hangar bill are available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside with buffet, from the BCB Box Office by calling 07493 582 261 or visiting myfighttickets.com.