Olympics: Sunderland boxer Josh Kelly reaches last 16 in Rio after brilliant win
Josh Kelly produced a boxing masterclass on his Olympic debut to reach the last 16 in Rio.
The Sunderland boxer won his round of 32 match in the welterweight division against Egypt’s Walid Mohamed by a unanimous decision tonight.
Kelly, up against the dangerous African Confederation silver medallist at Riocentro Pavilion 6, controlled the bout from the first bell to the last to win 30-27 on the scorecards of the judges from Cuba, Mongolia and Puerto Rico.
The 22-year-old now faces the mammoth task of taking on number two seed, Daniyar Yeleussinov, from Kazakhstan on Thursday evening (11.15pm BST).
But on the evidemnce of his display tonight, the Houghton ABC star will not be daunted.
Kelly showed no signs of nerves against an aggressive southpaw who certainly went for it.
However, Josh was the better technician, his fast, straight shots giving him the edge in an entertaining first round, landing to both the head and body.
Kelly’s left was accurate in the second round and his stinging shots served to make his 22-year-old opponent even more desperate and an more than one occasion he missed Josh’s head with wild swings.
It earned the European Games bronze medallist the session and gave him a two-round advantage.
Mohamed faced the prospect of needing a stoppage in the last but he was soon missing again.
However, Kelly simply could not miss, using his fast feet and gloves to great effect, hitting and moving to perfection.
Josh connected with some tremendous rights, the ringside judges all marking the last to the Wearsider too.
Kelly was the first of Team GB’s three North-East boxers into the ring.
Pat McCormack from Washington, will fight Kazakhstan’s Ablaikhan Zhussupov on Thursday evening in the light-welter division with Hartlepool’s Savannah Marshall meeting Anna Laurell, from Sweden, on Sunday.