Liam Smith will make the first defence of his WBO World Super-Welterweight Title against Jimmy Kelly on Saturday 19 December at the Manchester Arena.
After producing a sensational Rainham Steel ‘Punch of the Month’ contender to knock out John Thompson for the vacant World Title on last month’s big Manchester show, ‘Beefy’ will be looking to cap a memorable year in style.
The World champion said “Kelly is a tough and unbeaten young challenger, he’s got passion and ambition, he’s ranked in the top ten of the WBO and he’ll have his own ideas about taking my prized world title off me in my first defence. That’s fantastic and really gives me the motivation and buzz to give him a real hiding in the ring so I keep hold of my title. I’ve won the world title at a perfect time, I’m entering the prime of my career so there is much much more to come from and I’m not going to let an upstart like Kelly anywhere near taking my title. This belt is leaving with me back to it’s home in Liverpool.”
It’s a dream shot for Kelly, currently ranked 8th with the WBO, who holds the governing body’s Intercontinental Title after beating Martin Fidel Rios with a comfortable decision victory on the World War 3 show.
The 23 year old has made a perfect start to his professional career moving on to 16-0 (7 KO) with the Rios win.
“I just know that this my time and I’m ready for my opportunity to become world champion. Boxing is about opportunities, either you take them when they’re presented or you lose them and somebody else will take it. I’m not going to be someone who dwells on a missed opportunity and I’m going out there to smash up Liam Smith and take his world title. What will people say then when I become world champion? I’ll have too much of everything for Smith in every department," revealed Kelly.
Stable mates Smith and Kelly will renew Liverpudlian v Mancunian rivalries come December’s fantastic festive show.
You can watch the huge December 19 show live on BoxNation or in person at the arena, tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster.