Kelly Wins Title, Ritson Retains His
WBA International Welterweight Champion Josh Kelly is now the new British Commonwealth welterweight champion as well, scoring a one-sided, seventh-round TKO victory over Kris George at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England.
The first round of the welterweight title main event started with George as the more aggressive fighter, but Kelly’s slickness and footwork started to help give him more control. A late left hand hurt George and nearly trapped him in a corner. While things got quiet quickly over the next couple of rounds, George failed to land anything significant on Kelly.
In the fourth, the Australian fighter looked like he was throwing just a couple of punches at a time, while Kelly dropped his hands, daring George to throw his best shot. George landed a couple of shots in a last-second brawl but he ate quite a small flurry. Kelly threw and landed heavy combinations throughout the fifth.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) June 16, 2018
While George hit Kelly more than any of Kelly’s past opponents, Kelly did not seem to be affected. Kelly danced around the ring, using it and his footwork to his advantage. And he took that into round six, but this time, Kelly was the aggressor, cutting off the ring. And overhand left knocked George’s head back as he’s against the ropes with about a minute left. For those last 60 seconds, George was unable to find a way to get away from Kelly walking him down.
Kelly landed shots at will on a tired-out George in the seventh, and upon the end of the round, George and his corner withdrew from the fight on the stool.
In the co-main event of the evening, Lewis Ritson retained the British Commonwealth Lightweight Championship: with a first-round TKO over Paul Hyland Jr.
The two exchanged hard early. About a minute in, Hyland felt Ritson’s power early with a hard uppercut. Hyland elected to stand an trade with Ritson, and it proved to be a mistake.
With a little more than a minute left in the first, Ritson knocked Hyland down. Hyland’s father, in his corner, warned him to stay down, but Hyland got up. Hyland would be knocked down again twice before the referee called a first-round TKO in favor of Ritson, who remains undefeated and earns his third successful defense of the British Lightweight Title.
British Commonwealth Welterweight Title & WBA International Welterweight Title: (WBA) Josh Kelly def. (Commonwealth) Kris George via TKO (corner stoppage) (Rd. 7, 3:00)
British Commonwealth Lightweight Title: (c.) Lewis Ritson def. Paul Hyland Jr. via TKO (Rd. 1, 2:53)