Following a ruling from the British Boxing Board of Control, the David Avanesyan vs. Josh Kelly event scheduled to take place on Saturday, January 30, has been postponed, which is bad news for all the UK gambling fans eagerly awaiting the match.
In a statement, the BBBofC said: "Following the increase in COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom and the effects such increases has on the NHS and the work of the Board Medical Officers, it has been decided that no tournaments under the jurisdiction of the British Boxing Board of Control will take place in January 2021.
"A further review by the Board's Medical Panel and Stewards will take place later in January in relation to tournaments from February onwards."
The welterweight rivals were due to meet at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield back in December 2018 before an illness forced Kelly to withdraw from the contest on the same morning of the fight, leading to "bottle job" jibes from Avanesyan's manager Neil Marsh as bad blood boiled over between the camps.
Russia’s Avanesyan (26-3-1, 14 KOs), trained by Carl Greaves, dealt with the disappointment by firmly establishing himself as ‘the man’ of the European Welterweight scene by ripping the 147lbs title from Bilbao’s Kerman Lejarraga on away soil in March before destroying him in the opening round of their September rematch.
Kelly (10-0-1, 6 KOs), a Rio 2016 Olympian from Sunderland, outclassed the previously undefeated Pole Przemyslaw Runowski at The O2 in April last year before drawing with Ray Robinson two months later on his US debut in New York.
'PBK' decisioned Nicaragua's Wiston Campos in his last outing in Phoenix to set up his long-awaited showdown with Avanesyan. A meeting between the pair was rescheduled for March 2020 at The O2 in London only for the outbreak of the coronavirus in the UK to scupper their plans once more, in a fight that has been brewing for over two years.
A fight that will now be made to wait even longer, much to the disappointment of both the champion and challenger who sacrificed their Christmas holidays to train.
Matchroom Boxing will announce the rescheduled date for Avanesyan vs. Kelly as soon as possible.