Josh Kelly will make his US debut against Philadelphia’s Ray Robinson on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s Heavyweight World title clash with Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
Sunderland’s Kelly (9-0, 6 KOs) defeated the previously unbeaten Przemyslaw Runowski on his ring return at The O2 in London last month, flooring the gutsy challenger three times to defend his WBA International title with a classy unanimous decision after winning all ten rounds.
Kelly was due to face former World Champion David Avanesyan on the undercard of Kell Brook vs. Michael Zerafa in Sheffield, but an illness canceled a December match-up between the pair. A showdown with the now European Champion is at the top of Kelly’s wish list should he be successful against Robinson.
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) May 13, 2019
Robinson (24-3-1, 12 KOs) has lost only three times in his 28-fight career, one of those losses coming to current WBC Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter in 2010, and the 33-year-old southpaw earned a draw in his last outing in March against the undefeated and World contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas.
“To be boxing at the Mecca of boxing Madison Square Garden is pretty serious isn’t it,” said Kelly in a press release. “I’ve never been there before so I’m going to enjoy the experience and put a performance on. To be fighting at a venue like that so early on in my career is another box ticked on my journey.
“Things change and titles switch hands but the majority of World titles are held in the US at the moment so I could end up boxing there a lot more in the future. I just take things fight by fight and I never overlook anyone because I’d be doing myself and my opponent an injustice.
“Robinson is a very good opponent. He’s a good boxer with an awkward southpaw style so it’s another good test for me. It’s going to be a great fight and a night to enjoy. I get a lot of support from people in the US so it’s nice to have an opportunity to put on a performance in front of them.”
“What happened with the Avanesyan fight was unfortunate but it’s a fight that’s still 100% on my radar. Adam has got a plan for it and I’ll just go with what he says. It’s definitely more than likely going to take place. June 1 is going to be the start of something big.”