‘Little Sexy’ moved up weight to fight for the BUI light welterweight Celtic title in Good Counsel GAA club last Saturday night and, despite coming up short in his second step-up bout, claims he won’t change his career approach.
The big-hearted, big-punching novice loves the ‘big fight’ mantra preached by his mentor and manager Jay Byrne and is adamant he will stick to it moving forward.
Losing a higher profile fight that all but guarantees entertainment is more honourable that knocking over a come-to-lose journeyman in the St Margaret’s fighter’s eyes.
So after a defeat to Victor Rabei on the Celtic Clash 6 card, Kelly [1(0)-2(0)] wasn’t calling for a handy comeback scrap, rather requested other Irish fighters to step up to help him entertain fight fans.
“I don’t want boring fights,” a upset but still proud Kelly told Irish-boxing.com.
“As we say in the gym records are for DJs, look at Jay he took defeats and came back.”
“Obviously no one wants to lose but I’d prefer to be in a big fight that entertains than just to be getting wins for the sake of it. I just want to fight and be in good fights.”
“Whoever wants it, I will go for a knock. I stood there in with Victor for eight rounds, I enjoyed it, the crowd loved it, but he got the win.”
“If any other Irish fighters want to fight lets do it lets give the fans what the want a good toe-to-toe battle,” added the Monkstown 23-year-old
Karl Kelly has a chin and he has class
Congratulations again to new BUI Celtic light welterweight champion Victor Rabei
Video Credit: Graham Kelly pic.twitter.com/jrBBG0LIsa
— Irish-Boxing.com (@Irishboxingcom) July 17, 2018
Just months after losing to Portsmouth super feather Lucas Ballingal, Kelly found himself in with another unbeaten prospect. This time it was a fellow Dub, Rabei, who was in the opposite corner and the BUI Celtic title was on the line.
Kelly gave it his all but despite earning the respect of those in attendance, the praise of Rabei, and the applause of anyone that watched the eight rounds, he couldn’t quite collect the title.
Post-fight Kelly was quieter than usual but not overly downbeat. He took solace in the fact he pushed for eight rounds, took some big shots, and most of all showed his warrior spirit.
“It was a good fight. Obviously there are bad things you have to look at after a loss, but there are positives. He only beat me by two or three rounds and we gave everyone a good fight. Is that not what you want?
“My God we stood toe-to-toe in the last round. I said I was never going to take a backward step and I don’t think I did once over the eight rounds. I enjoyed it, I loved being in there,” he added before discussing the fight in further detail.
“To be fair we knew what his game plan was going to be. He was going to go on the jab, throw the uppercut and then the hook. I caught some of his uppercuts lovely and fired back with my left hand.”
“In the first round he was smiling and we were talking in there then. He wasn’t smiling as much and wasn’t talking after I landed a clean again. He did run a bit when he felt the power.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)