22:30 Saturday - Josh Kelly vs David Avanesyan

Sunderland's Josh Kelly takes on Russian David Avanesyan at the SSE Wembley Arena on Saturday night. The SSE Arena was the scene of a huge shock last week when Josh Warrington was brutally knocked out by massive underdog Mauricio Lara. This week, whatever happens it'll be hard to label it a shock: the fight is finely poised and it's certainly difficult to confidently pick a winner of the two.

The bookies have installed Josh Kelly as a marginal favourite, with his best price around the 8/11 mark. Avanesyan can be backed at 5/4. In terms of form, it's hard to judge as neither have fought since 2019 but certainly Kelly's last few performances have been underwhelming and it's easy to criticise him whilst forgetting this will be only his 12th pro fight. Fighting Avanesyan in your 12th pro fight for the European belt is a very good level early on in a career. However, despite his lack of experience, it's still frustrating to watch Kelly at times; he looks a world beater in patches but doesn't seem to have power or the engine to really make it tell against better opposition. In David Avanesyan, Kelly is facing a good enough boxer to make it a very hard night if he's not at his best. Like Kelly, Avanesyan is also not a massive puncher, with 14 of his 26 wins coming by stoppage (albeit he's won his last three by stoppage), and the fight to go the distance is an understandably short 5/6.

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This matchup certainly feels like one that is likely to go the distance. Kelly hasn’t demonstrated hurtful power in his last few outings (all of his last three fights have gone the distance) and Avanesyan, whilst having some KOs on his record recently, may struggle stylistically to get hold of Kelly. At times betting on boxing can be particularly challenging as not only do you need to consider the fighters’ performance but the judges’ as well. Kelly vs Avanesyan does feel like a fight where hometown judging could edge it for Kelly.

Josh Kelly to Win by Decision - 2pts @ 6/4

With that in mind and shirking the 5/6 for the fight to go the distance, a punt on Kelly to win on the judges score cards looks a solid play: his best price is 6/4 (it’s also worth a small nibble on him to win a split decision or even the draw if you’re in search of longer odds). UK judging has been shocking of late, so you must imagine they’ll be watching Kelly’s work with rose tinted glasses and it would take a lot for Avanesyan to upset the home fighter on the cards.

Draw 18/1 - 0.5pts @ 18/1