The relative pro novice has come to the fore over the last year with some entertaining displays in early step-ups and could become the man they all want if he manages to claim the Irish lightweight title with victory in the Ulster Hall on February 9th.
The come forward fighter with little respect for his 0 has the chance to become domestic king in just his fifth fight and after two career defeats when he fights Feargal McCrory [9(3)-0] for the vacant Irish lightweight strap on an MHD card at the famous Belfast venue.
The opportunity came as a surprise to the Jay Byrne-managed-and-now-trained gutsy semi-pro convert and as a surprise to fight fans. Most expected an immediate repeat of his Irish Fight of the Year clash with Martin Quinn [2(0)-1(0)] – a controversial meeting which Kelly edged by a point.
However, understandably, a chance to fight for the Irish title was too good to turn down for the Monkstown man, but he assured Irish-Boxing.com that he will rematch Quinn even win or lose on February 9th.
“Jay told me if I win I have to still honour the rematch and I will do that as I owe it to Martin,” Kelly explained.
Quinn, to his credit and despite being disgusted following their clash in November, has accepted that Kelly had to go for the Irish title opportunity and the Crumlin puncher isn’t the only on that will be paying close attention on February 9th.
‘Little Sexy’ also revealed he is more than willing to give Kildare’s Cully [7(4)-0] the domestic meeting he so craves.
The frustrated Naas starlet took to social media to express his discontent at Kelly v McCrory being sanctioned stating that “I’d like to wish the best of luck to both lads who wouldn’t fight me but fight each other for my Irish lightweight title in February.”
“I’ll be ready and waiting for the winner so let’s see if they fight me or are forced to vacate.”
Kelly claims he already agreed in principle to a fight he honestly admits is David versus Goliath in more ways that one, and stressed he would provided the rising star an Irish opponent if the price was right.
“Look, Jay accepted the fight against Gary before. We knew it was gonna be a virtually impossible task as the chaps is quality and about eight foot tall.”
“For him to say I wouldn’t accept a fight is wrong. Jay does the dealings with money and that and I trust him. The offer of €1,000 euro is not enough for that fight so that’s why it didn’t happen not because I didn’t want it.”
Kelly and McCrory clash for the vacant Irish title on a bill which is headlined by recent world title challenger James Tennyson and also features British title challenger Paul Hyland Jr, cruiserweight talent Tommy McCarthy, former British title challenger Luke Wilton, Cathy McAleer, Matthew Fitzsimons, and a battle of West Belfast between Joe Fitzpatrick and Stephen Webb.