The Kildare light welterweight hopeful has had more than his fair share of boxing letdowns since he turned over with Boxing Ireland in late 2019.
There’s been a prolonged shoulder injury, a pandemic, the fall of his promotional company, big fight fall throughs and most recently an RDS fight night cancelled just over a week out from the first bell.
However, the knockbacks don’t knock down the level of passion the 27-year-old has for the sport. Although he may not want his, at times disgruntled girlfriend to know, Kelly, who cancelled a holiday so he could fight on September 16, remains willing to stay at it and fight the adversities until he gets the kind of in-ring fights he wants.
“I’m in this until the day I die. I don’t really give a f*ck about anything else, I’m here to box. I’m in the gym every day without a fight, I’m here every day with a fight. Life doesn’t change.
Kelly’s latest setback was the cancellation of the RDS show, but even before he saw the fall of just his second fight in Dublin, he had bad news to deal with.
The Pete Taylor-trained boxer with light welterweight title hopes had agreed to fight Dave Ryan for the BUI Celtic welterweight title, only for a hand injury to rule the Shannon fighter out.
It’s one that may happen later in the year or early next, but setbacks just seems the way when it comes to Kelly’s career to date.
“It’s always happening. It’s probably a message to send out to pros that are just turning over now. ‘Don’t get your hopes up’. There are more disappointments than anything in this sport.
“Even when the fight was put to me at the start before David pulled out for genuine reasons, and if I was in his shoes with that injury I’d do the same, in my head I was like ‘it’s too good to be true’. It turns out I was right,” he adds.
There is rumour Kelly may get out in Dublin in early November. If he does see action and secure a win he will set his sights straight on a title fight.
Speaking before his RDS clash was called off he said: “I’ll get in and take this fella out and hopefully, my next fight will be for the junior welterweight Celtic title. Then hopefully get out by the end of the year and maybe even take the Irish title.”