Conor Benn believes his rival Josh Kelly has “no hope” in their inevitable domestic clash – and might be knocked off course in his upcoming fight with David Avanesyan. Kelly fights dangerous Russian Avanesyan in a European title fight on Saturday before Benn enters his hardest battle yet against Samuel Vargas on April 10.
“It’s a hard fight but I back the Brit,” Benn said. “I hope Kelly does the business, I really do. Not only for our fights further down the year, but I want to put Britain on the map. But my opinion on the fight? I believe Avanesyan might be too much. I can only go on their last two performances and Avanesyan’s were great, [they] were outstanding.”
“It’s going to be a hard one for Kelly,” he added. “But if he lives up to the hype and praise that everyone gives him, he’ll come through with flying colours and really show what he is made of. He will rise to the occasion. But Avanesyan is an animal. Mid-to-late rounds, Avanesyan stoppage or Kelly will out-box him. It depends on how Kelly moves on the night.”
“It’s now or never for Kelly,” he said. “He’s got a massive amateur pedigree, he’s done it all in the amateurs, he’s [26 years old]. He needs to make these steps up quickly. I’m at the other end of the spectrum. I’m young with no amateur experience so I’ve got time. I could have another 10 learning fights but he’s got to push on because everyone puts him on a pedestal.”