Jay Byrne, who has a big title fight of his own against Marc Kerr in Scotland this weekend, hailed a “great outcome” for the fighter he often referee’s to as a little brother but bemoaned the performance.
In extreme honest fashion, ‘The Negotiator’ admitted he felt Kelly [2(0)-2(0)] had lost to Martin Quinn on the entertaining ‘Celtic Clash 7’ card before he was eventually given the nod by referee David Irving.
Byrne suggests that the Declan Geraghty Sr-trained fighter cut corners ahead of a clash the manager believed was a must-win encounter.
Indeed, the 32-year-old went as far as to state he won’t tolerate any more short cuts from the entertaining fighter moving forward.
“I personally think he lost but, look, he got the win and the ref obviously scored his relentlessness,” Byrne told Irish-Boxing.com.
“Myself, as his manager, I know where he fell short and I said the day before that it was a Lucas Ballingall part two in regards bad prep. I see first-hand what effort goes in throughout camp daily and we both know the faults and that is the last time it will happen under me.”
It’s a kick up the rear for the aggressive 23-year-old particularly from a manager who doesn’t put too much emphasis on unbeaten records , but there are massive positives to take from the result at the very least.
Kelly has been competitive in earlier than usual step-ups and, if he has been cutting corners, the room left for improvement can be filled and lead to better results.
Not to mention the result all but prevented him going on the road and looks certain to set up a high-profile rematch and a fight for a BUI Celtic lightweight title.
“His career was on the line, but now he is in a title fight rematch so it’s a great outcome for the little man,” added the manager who immediately offered Quinn a repeat after Saturday’s fight.
Kelly wasn’t the only Byrne-managed fighter on the Boxing Ireland card.
Martin Wall [1(1)-1(1)] suffered shock defeat to Radoslav Mitev further down the card, eliminating his hopes of an all-Irish dust up in just his third fight.
However, Byrne isn’t too worried. He has encouraged the Crumlin man to learn the necessary lesson from the reverse and points to European title winner and recent world title challenger James Tennyson as inspiration.
“Martin learned a few lesson Saturday. Firstly, he will campaign at welter and welter alone from now on. It was his first time on floor too. He had never experienced that before so when he got to his feet he walked straight back into a gun fight in the middle of the ring rather than circle and get his head back together. But as I said he never experienced it before and that the natural reaction.”
“Look, James Tennyson lost to a journeyman early in his career and look and what his last fight was. Am I worried? No not at all! Martin will come back and he will just be a fight behind his original plan.”
Eddie Treacy, another of the Byrne stable, remains firmly on course in terms of his plan as he made it two wins from two in Good Counsel GAA club.
Tracey followed up a debut stoppage win with a points victory over Konstantin Alexandrov and his manager has been so impressed he wants to pair him with Mitev, the fighter that stopped his stable mate Martin Wall on the same night.
“Eddie has been a breath of fresh air and I ain’t biased in saying that. He showed Saturday he belongs in this game and his maturity was excellent. We will look for Mitev for his next outing. He wants to get one back for Martin. I don’t take a cent off any of my guys so Eddie selling tickets is for himself so he makes a few bob but great to have a big following.”
The latest edition to Byrne’s management team is Lynn Harvey. The Hunter finally ended her sabbatical from the ring and her ‘second debut’ ended much like her first, with a first round stoppage.
Byrne revealed he hopes to have some big news with regard to the popular Kilbarrack native as early as this week.
“Lynn is with us yes and I would of liked her to clock some rounds up on Saturday but then again this is pro boxing so once you hurt an opponent it’s get them out of there. I am negotiating a big fight for her at present and hopefully have it over the line this week,” he added before heaping praise on the Boxing Ireland duo who continue to bring big time action and atmosphere to the small hall.
“I would like to give a special mention to Stephen Sharpe and Leonard as that was a excellent on Saturday and these lads deserve massive respect and support.”