Eddie Hearn would love to see Josh Kelly fight at the Stadium of Light

Eddie Hearn: Sunderland fan Josh Kelly must fight at the Stadium of Light

Matchroom Boxing supremo Eddie Hearn discussed the possibility of a world title fight at Sunderland's Stadium of Light


Matchroom Boxing supremo Eddie Hearn says Sunderland-born boxer Josh Kelly must fight at the Stadium of Light eventually - and hopefully for a world title.

The former Olympian is undefeated as a professional with ten wins and one draw so far, and steps up in competition on March 28 when he challenges David Avanesyan at the O2 in London for the European title.

Avanesyan is ranked in the top ten of multiple world governing bodies' rankings, and should Kelly come through his latest test his mind will firmly turn towards an assault at a world title.

Should he reach that stage, Hearn admits Sunderland's Stadium of Light will have to be in consideration.

Hearn told Talksport: "We've had a hell of a ride together and Josh has fought on some huge undercards on his way up. Wembley, the O2, Cardiff, Madison Square... This is now his first big headline show against Avanesyan and then we can look to take him forward again.

"For Josh the goal absolutely has to be Sunderland. Hopefully a world title fight. We must have a fight at the Stadium of Light. We must."

The Stadium of Light hosts a boxing show annually already, with manager and promoter Phil Jeffries putting on his Summer Rumble every July. At those events he uses the stage set up over the west stand for university graduations to house the ring.
Summer Rumble 9

But should Kelly get a world title fight at the Wearside ground then Hearn will no doubt expect to fill out the stadium, with the ring right in the centre of the pitch.

For Kelly that would be a dream. A huge Sunderland fan, he was special guest at the Stadium of Light last weekend as Sunderland beat Ipswich 1-0 in League One.

Asked about his love of the club, the welterweight said: "I'm Sunderland through and through. I'll be wearing Sunderland colours for my next fight. We're at a big stage in my career now, so the red-and-white stripes have got to be on.

"I was there last weekend to watch us against Ipswich and we won 1-0, so that was great.

"We then won 3-0 in midweek against Rochdale. We're on the way back up, and you never know, one day we might get the derbies back.

"The football is a big thing in Sunderland so we need to keep going."