Stefan Sanderson vs Craig Kelly

Stefan Sanderson faces Craig Kelly in Scottish Area title fight

Published On Friday, January 25, 2019By Tim Rickson

Stefan Sanderson defends Scottish Area super-welterweight title for the first time

Undefeated welterweight prospect Stefan Sanderson in maiden title defence against Craig Kelly
Kelly a former Scottish Area champion at welterweight
Warring pair have history - Kelly has a score to settle

Stefan Sanderson (5-0, 1KO) faces former Scottish Area welterweight champion Craig Kelly (11-12-1, 2KO) on the Burns Supper show at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow in the maiden defence of his Scottish Area super-welterweight strap that he claimed with a points victory over unbeaten Paul Kean (8-0) in his last fight in September.

Supporting act Hannah Rankin returns to ring following world title defeats to face experienced former world champion.

Former Scottish Area titlist Kelly comes into the fight following back to back wins over Jordan Grannum and Lewis van Poetsch in September and June last year, respectively.

However, despite that good form, Kelly and Sanderson have met once before in June 2016, ending in the sixth-round knockout defeat for Kelly in what was Sanderson's second pro fight, scheduled for eight-rounds. It remains the only stoppage win on the 29-year-old's unblemished record.

It was the first big impact the Scot made in his career, beating an Area champion in just his second bout, and he has continued to impress by becoming a Scottish Area champion in just his fifth fight.

“I had a good amateur career before turning professional and stopping Kelly in only my second fight was a big statement in a hard fight, he was a really tough boy," Sanderson said.

Managed by Sam Kynoch of MTK Scotland, Sanderson is based in Dubai, training under the guidance of Scottish boxing legend Paul Weir.

Sanderson is just the eighth person to ever win the Scottish Area super-welterweight title in 44 years, which was formerly held by the late Mike Towell in 2014, who tragically died in September 2016 following his stoppage defeat at the hands of Dale Evans.

Hannah Rankin gets a well deserved homecoming bout to start the year off, after traveling abroad to challenge for world championships and help in championship camps.

Back on home soil once again, Rankin (5-3, 1KO) will challenge former world champion Serbian Eva Bajic (14-15, 9KO) in an eight-round middleweight contest.

The 34-year-old Serbian is a former IBF world welterweight champion but has only wo two of her last 10 fights. Rankin comes into the bout folowing back to back defeats to WBA super-middleweight champion Alicia Napoleon in New York in August and WBA and IBF middleweight champion Claressa Shields in Kansas in November.

20-year-old flyweight prospect Neil McCubbin (1-0) has his second paid bout against 33-year-old 'Inch High' Gary Reeve (2-18) from Gateshead.