The JB Promotions fighter has revealed that he dropped Victor Rabei [4(1)-0] back in the amateurs and suggests he can do so again when the pair meet on July 7th.
In fairness to Kelly, who is a six-round win away from making the Dublin derby a BUI Celtic light welterweight title clash, he stresses that knockdown, which is denied by Rabei, will count little over eight pro rounds in just over two months time.
‘Little Sexy’ admits he has been impressed by the Moldovan-Dub since he has turned over and points out massive improvements have been made.
He also went as far as to suggest that his ‘The Beginning’ opponent could trump him in terms of skillset but warns that his own power will eventually win out.
“I boxed him as an amateur. I know it’s only the amateurs and I don’t really want to look into that, but I caught him lovely and I dropped him,” Kelly told Irish-Boxing.com.
“It was on one of Jay Byrne’s club shows but that is the amateurs there is no point bringing that into it. Vic has progressed massively and he does promote himself well,” the Monkstown puncher added before predicting that he can hurt Rabei again.
“I do think this will come down to speed versus power and over eight rounds I think power will win.”
There have been strong suggestions the JB Promotions and Assassin Promotions fight card could be televised and, if that is the case, there is potential for fighters to progress their careers in terms of profile and ranking.
Kelly, who showed he isn’t afraid of a challenge by taking a fight with talented prospect Lucas Ballingall after just one pro bout, is certainly excited about the prospect of being in a domestic dust-up and believes it’s a clash of styles that could get fans talking.
“I am really looking forward to fighting him. Obviously Vic is a very good fighter. You can’t knock him too much technically he was in with Mark Morris – who I sparred in Belfast – and did well.”
“The more I think about it the more I am buzzing. It’s a fight that is going to get fans talking. It has a bit of everything. It’s two local lads that live near each other and I am sure we will both bring a good crowd.”
“It has the ingredients needed for a really entertaining fight,” he continued before avoiding making a prediction.
“Look, may the better man win. I won’t stir it up too much, yet!”
Promoters Jay Byrne and Kaz Evans had hoped to make the fight a BUI Celtic title fight but the BUI feel Kelly needs a six rounder at light welter first – something Byrne has publicly admitted he is baffled by.
Kelly himself would prefer to focus solely on Rabei over the next eight weeks and feels the situation isn’t ideal.
“There might be an element of where it gets ring rust off but I’d prefer just to get in there with Vic now. I am ready and excited for this fight I’d be happier just to focusing all my thoughts on Vic and training with beating him in mind.”
The Steven O’Rourke-trained Rabei has suggested he might be a bit too big for a fighter some suggest could drop as low as feather but Kelly claims he is more than happy to compete at light welter.
“I reckon it will suit me better. I think I’ll be stronger and have a lot more in the tank.”
“The 59.4kg [weight v Ballingall] killed me but in truth that was my own fault. I cut corners in camp and it cost me in the fight too. I tired and lessened my chances of taking a big scalp because I was tired down the stretch.”
“I can promise everyone that won’t happen this time.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)