Ryan Kelly reckons he has an upper hand in a high-stakes game with River Wilson-Bent for the Commonwealth Silver middleweight title.
The two will go toe-to-toe at the sold out Holiday Inn Queensway, in Birmingham city centre, during a Friday fight night, on October 27, under the BCB Promotions banner.
Brummie Kelly, who is from Chelmsley Wood, is adamant that he will be making inroads on the domestic scene, at the expense of his opponent, who is based in Coventry.
The 29-year-old has dispelled the notion that he will be too small to trouble a career middleweight, despite boxing as low as welter.
‘Ruthless’ vowed that he would never box at 147lbs again after a lethargic performance against the talented Michael McKinson, which was his only notable outing in that division.
Kelly has held Midlands honours at super welter and challenged for WBC International and WBC European baubles, before advancing to middleweight.
The only defeats on his pro record are to live opposition in Adam Harper, McKinson, Hamzah Sheeraz and Brad Pauls, in that order.
Pauls edged past him on a thin split decision, in May of last year, with Kelly impaired for most of the proceedings. He’s returned to winning ways since, outpointing Serge Ambomo.
Kelly still possesses a more-than-respectable record of 17 pro wins, from 21 contests, with eight stoppages to his credit, and is hell-bent on improving that ledger.
He said: “Taking the fight against River (Wilson-Bent) is one that we’ve been really excited about. There were a few names on the table, but this one made the most sense.
“I had a meeting with Errol (Johnson, head of BCB and match-maker) and he asked me about River. I jumped at the chance, it’s a good one for the Midlands.
“I know that I’ve got a great manager, in Errol, who believes in me and it’s the same for my coach. John (Costello) is just as excited as me. You would think that it was him fighting!
“Me and River have crossed paths, in sparring, a couple of times and that’s why I’m so confident. I believe that I have it all, in relation to a game-plan, and that will be to win.
“I feel that this is more risky for him, but we both know the risks. The loser stays stale and the winner will go on to bigger things. We are in the latter stages of our career.
“I’ve got the loss to Brad Pauls, on my record recently, but I still believe that I won that one. I fought eight rounds with one hand, because I broke my hand in the second round.
“I’ve chased that rematch ever since and he’s had enough opportunities to make it happen. He has no interest and all of his people know that. It’s never going to happen.
“River won’t think that I’m a small middleweight on the night. I’m 29 now and I’ve grown a hell of a lot. I’m a big man now. Boxing is like walking to me and I’m going to make it count.”
Tickets for the Holiday Inn bill are now sold out but you can still catch the show live and for free on BCB’s official YouTube channel.