EDDIE HEARN has hinted David Avanesyan could face Conor Benn next following his demolition of Josh Kelly.
The Russian retained his European welterweight title on Saturday night with a brutal sixth-round TKO victory, with Kelly’s cornerman Adam Booth mercifully throwing in the towel.
David Avanesyan lands a huge right hand flush on Josh Kelly’s chinCredit: Matchroom Boxing
Josh Kelly’s trainer, Adam Booth, threew in the towel in the sixth roundCredit: Matchroom Boxing
Avanesyan and his team were greeted backstage by Benn, who had hoped to face Sunderland slugger Kelly next.
And Matchroom Boxing chief Hearn retweeted a video of the pair’s cordial encounter.
Shortly after entering Avanesyan’s dressing room, Benn said: “You are an animal. You are an animal. I said round seven. F**king strong, mate.”
Benn, the son of British boxing great Nigel, then jokingly ribbed Avanesyan for scuppering his Battle of Britain with Kelly.
He said: “You ruined it, you ruined it. Now it won’t happen because you ruined it. Listen, I just came here to congratulate you.”
The Destroyer ended his meeting with Avanesyan by saying: “I’m looking forward to seeing you fight for a world title.”
Benn, 24, was ringside for Kelly’s first professional loss and was impressed by what he saw of Pretty Boy in the early rounds.
He told Sky Sports: “Kelly was looking sharp, he was accurate.
“He landed some great power shots early on. I thought Avanesyan might be in trouble, but Avanesyan got to him.
“Kelly has got all the skill. He is naturally gifted. Why does he keep blowing up after four or five rounds?
“Maybe it is a weight issue, maybe he should move up a weight, because I like Kelly, I do. I’m gutted for him, to be honest, I really am.”
He added: “Everybody knows Kelly is good for four, five, six, but when it gets past that and it gets on top of him, he folds.
David Avanesyan and Conor Benn embrace backstageCredit: MATCHROOM BOXING
David Avanesyan and Conor Benn pose for photos after their chatCredit: MATCHROOM BOXING
“That’s what happened tonight. Avanesyan kept applying the pressure. He will come back.
“He’s just got to sit down and question how much he wants it.”
Despite the emphatic nature of his first defeat, Hearn is confident Kelly has all the ingredients to compete at the world level.
He told Sky Sports: “Sometimes you come across a guy that will not be denied, that’s too strong.
“That has the will beyond others, and tonight that was David Avanesyan.
“Josh Kelly had a wonderful camp. Josh Kelly was in the shape of his life.
Eddie Hearn still believes Josh Kelly can compete at the world levelCredit: ©Mark Robinson Ltd
“Josh Kelly couldn’t have been better in that ring tonight, but this man, he wouldn’t be denied. He was too tough.
“What we saw tonight was an elite welterweight. A world-class welterweight against a really good prospect who I believe can be a world-class fighter.
But he was just out-manned, he was just out-hustled, he was just outfought. As good as the start was, you could see him unravelling.
“I thought Adam Booth did a great job throwing in the towel, because it was the end.”