Karl Kelly 1-0 makes his return to the ring on Feb 3rd on the ‘Assassins Creed’ show in Belfast. After only 1 fight, Kelly is making a massive step-up in class when he takes on highly-touted English prospect Lucas Ballingall 8-0. But it’s a step that doesnt bother Kelly as he looks to make his mark in the sport –
“I’ve always said I’ve wanted big fights, im not here to fight journeymen and get a nice padded record that means nothing. Im going out there to put on a good performance on February 3rd. Training’s going great, im out 3 or even 4 times a day training at the moment. Working with Deco (Geraghty Snr) we’re looking at certain shots he (Ballingall) throws and what we can do to counter it.
Kelly says he’s not there just to make up the numbers and aims to bring the fight to Ballingall –
“For me, it’s all about showing ambition, which is why im taking this fight. I know it’s going to be a tough fight, but it’s going to be tough for him too, im probably the toughest opponent he’s faced yet. ”
“Looking at Ballingall, I think he has kind of an amateur style, so il go out there and bring the fight to him and put it on him from the start. Obviously I can bang, so we’ll see how he holds up.”
A familiar face in Kelly’s team is his manager, current Celtic welterweight champion Jay Byrne. And Kelly says Jay’s experience is great to have on hand –
“It’s great to have him there, he’s constantly giving me tips and advice. He also really motivates me and drives me on too, seeing what he’s done and the road he’s taken. And on the management end he’s looking to keep me active which is really important for me at the moment.”
Looking ahead, Kelly just want to build on his record and keep as active as possible over the next 12 months –
“I just want to kept busy and be out fighting as much as possible really. To be honest, il fight whoever they put in front of me, im not worried about my opponents. With Irish boxing going the way it is, it’s really booming again so hopefully I can be out as often as possible over the next year.”
It’s refreshing to see a fighter with Karl’s attitude. He’s someone who’s willing to take on challenges and isn’t looking to build a padded record and protect his ‘0’. Hopefully more fighters can follow suit on the thriving domestic scene.