Ryan Burnett vs Yonfrez Parejo
After his recent fairy tale fights in his home town of Belfast, first outpointing Lee Haskins for the IBF Bantamweight title and then heading straight into a unification fight and out pointing Zanat Zhakiyanov to take his WBA super belt. Burnett got the perfect chance to increase his popularity on the biggest of stages when taking on Yonfez Parejo, his mandatory for the WBA belt.
In a packed out Principality Stadium in Cardiff, some would have forgiven Ryan if he had any nerves and started slow. However his confidence in his ability shone through from the first round, keeping his lead hand low and relying on his reflexes and lightening speed to win the jab. Despite giving up a six inch reach advantage, he was quickly out of range and landing his jab. Burnett’s defensive work was clear for all to see, with Parejo struggling to land anything in the opening rounds, although his experience did show as Ryan unable to offer too much in attack himself.
Parejo looked to offer something more in the fifth, his reach showing for a few jabs. However any success was short lived and Burnett landed a sweet uppercut in the sixth. Another sublime shot landed on Parejo in the seventh after Burnett did some show boating, but although it was another big looking shot it, seemed to have little effect on the challenger.
A clash of heads left Burnett cut and Parejo tried to get in clinches and stop Burnett’s boxing, but despite the odd bit of flair from the Belfast boy he seemed happy to stroll through to a points win. Parejo was seemingly as happy to let the fight ride through. It was as close as Burnett could be to a workmanlike performance with his classy lightening style, but it was effective and he closed the fight out to take a wide points victory with scores of 120 – 108, 120 – 108, 116 – 112.
This was another performance from Ryan Burnett highlighting his speed and ring IQ, but it was also another points win after dominating for twelve rounds. Is there a lack power to Burnett’s game that could cause problems in the future? He’s a fan favourite, so hopefully he answers this question soon.
Josh Kelly vs Carlos Molina
After an impressive start to professional life for Josh Kelly, already gaining plaudits after some slick, fancy performances, he took a massive step up in opposition and boy did he deliver! ‘Pretty Boy’ Kelly lived up to the name as his youthful, energetic start was easy on the eye and effective as the former world champion Molina had no answers in the ring.
Kelly was on the front foot from the off, showing just how good he can be, with the fight looking like an expedition of Kelly’s skills rather then his big test against a former champion. Josh landed jabs at ease throughout the fight, and right hooks seem to be a favourite of his. The early rounds were all one way traffic, however in the fifth Kelly was caught clean with a precision one-two from Molina, giving us a indication of what he is still capable off.
However that brief success for Carlos had little effect and Kelly was soon back to his classy ways, and stunned his Mexican opponent in the sixth with a two punch combination of his own. Molina, though, has never been stopped in the ring and his toughness and stubbornness was plain to see. A typical Mexican warrior!
For the first time in his career Kelly was taken the ten rounds and despite this, he never looked like slowing or fatiguing. Josh looks like a class act, and after beating a veteran of Molina’s quality with such ease and confidence, taking scorecards of 98-2, 98-2, 99-1 the rest of the division must be listening to the noise he’s making. Kelly has genuine class, a level head and really could live up to his potential and be the future of the welterweight division. It’s fair to say Josh has just lost his prospect status and will be seen as a true challenger before the year is out. Josh Kelly could be the next big name in English boxing!