On Saturday night in Scotland, Rio Olympian Josh Kelly makes his move into the pro ranks against Irish opposition.
The Sunderland welter will take on Dublin’s Jay Byrne [4(1)-1(0)] over six rounds live on Sky Sports at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
The fight, scheduled to take place at around 8:00pm, forms part of the undercard to the Ricky Burns v Julius Indongo WBA-IBF light welterweight unification.
Kelly has been snapped up by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom following an impressive Olympic campaign where he won his first bout before losing out to eventual gold medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov.
In Byrne he has been handed an exceedingly tough debut fight, but ‘The Negotiator’ wont be the first Irishman that ‘Pretty Boy’ Kelly will have faced.
Back in the Summer of 2015 the English boxer exploded onto the scene, claiming bronze at the inaugural European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.
In his quarter final, Kelly defeated Wexford’s Adam Nolan to guarantee the bronze medal after edging a cagey split-decision in the Caspian city.
London Olympian Nolan, who retired earlier this year, recalled to Irish-Boxing.com how “he beat me for a medal on a split decision, one fight that I still feel like I left a little bit in there.”
Garda Nolan believes that Kelly, now trained by Adam Booth, can make the transition to the paid ranks.
The five-time Elite Senior champion described how Kelly is “a tricky fighter, very elusive and explosive.”
“I think he has a bright future in the game and has what it takes to make it as a pro.”