Josh Kelly takes down Bastida!
By Drew Carts: After his failed attempt at the EBU title where he was brutally dominated by David Avanesyan, back in February 2021, Josh Kelly has since returned to the battle lanes. win. In June, Josh Kelly stopped the Peter Kramer cruise. That fight was nothing more than a rudimentary contest that allowed Kelly to show off what he and Adam Booth were working on. This time, against Bastida, it was more obvious.
Fighting under the Wasserman banner, Kelly v Bastida serves as the main event in a rather empty location. Wasserman will need to ramp up their presence over the next 12-18 months if they really want to compete with Queensbury, Boxxer and Matchroom promotions. However, the scene was ripe thanks to Matchroom which somewhat created a vacuum in the water.
Round 1 – How would you expect to start against a strong army that lost only once in 2018. Kelly with her broad orthodox stance kept her distance while trying to execute power shots. before Bastida.
Round 2 – More similar – Kelly manages the distance and explodes into combos, but not all of them land. Bastida doesn’t have a single jab to work behind, but instead, he’ll run fast forward with an odd shot.
Round 3 – Not much action – mainly Kelly hurling powerful shots while trying to lull Bastida with his hand on the side.
Round 4 – The Kelly class continues to overshadow Bastida’s lack of mass. Kelly does a great job of squeezing Bastida to death by clapping her hands every time Bastida walks in.
Round 5 – Same as round 4.
Round 6 – Bastida started the round with a higher intention. Go to the body several times with Kelly tied again. Kelly responds with some good jabs that push Bastida back. Bastida’s best round.
Round 7 – Kelly picked up the pace again and Bastida missed with many punches. The difference in quality is good and really obvious. However, Kelly’s strength did not seem to make the intended impact.
Round 8 – Kelly works behind single thrusts, plunging into Bastida to then unleash a series of combos. Nice stuff but Bastida absorbs it very well.
Round 9 – Kelly cycled to make the most of the lap but it was like lap 8
Round 10 – Bastida’s corner seems to have informed Bastida that he needs a KO to win. The throws were futile, but all in all, Kelly fought 99–92 for a unanimous decision. Now an international WBO super super champion.
Coincidentally, it looks like promoter Kalle Sauerland could direct Kelly to an all-British clash with Troy Williamson, a fellow northerner. There are clear signs that Kelly and Booth are working to improve his game. Unfortunately, if I were to rank in the top 15, I would definitely aim for Kelly to improve my ranking. Kelly will need to work on both his strength and stamina if he really wants to win the WBO world title.
Personally, if Kelly gets past Williamson, I don’t think he has a chance against any of the top 6 in the WBO. Kelly’s problem is that he doesn’t throw enough punches nor work after his stabs enough. I could easily see him being overwhelmed by the likes of Castano, Murazaliev, Ocampo and Harrison. Tszyu and Charlo would easily work with him, and Liam Smith and Tony Harrison simply have too much experience.