Josh Kelly has a new dance partner for his homecoming gig.
The 29-year-old will face Colombian Placido Ramirez on December 16 at the Beacon of Light in Sutherland, Tyne and Wear, England. The fight marks Kelly's first professional bout in his hometown.
Kelly was previously slated to face South Africa's Roarke Kapp, but the latter was forced to withdraw from their junior middleweight showdown due to injury.
Ramirez Is Fresh Off Getting Assaulted By Angry Spectators
Ramirez (24-3, 17 KOs) has not lost in his past six bouts. His most recent fight, however, was one of the strangest in recent memory. Last month, Ramirez and Italy-based Denis Nurja fought to a four-round no contest after fans stormed the ring and assaulted Ramirez.
It all started when Ramirez, also 29, dropped Nurja, a native of Albania, with a left uppercut. After beating the count, referee Sisi Zeneli appeared to mistakenly signal for the bout to continue. Once he realized his mistake, it was too late. Ramirez rushed in and clocked him with another left hand that knocked Nurja out on his feet.
Moments later, upset Nurja fans entered the ring and attacked Ramirez, who had entered the ring on a five-bout knockout streak.
Kelly Looks To Keep Momentum Alive
Kelly (14-1-1, 7 KOs), the WBO No. 1-ranked contender, has won four bouts in a row since his shocking KO defeat at the hands of David Avanesyan in February 2021. His past three fights have ended in unanimous decision victories, having defeated the likes of Lucas Brian Ariel Bastida, Troy Williamson, and Gabriel Alberto Corzo. Williamson and Corzo were undefeated coming into their respective clashes against Kelly.
Kalle Sauerland, Global Head of Boxing at Wasserman Boxing, said in a statement: “Out goes one dangerous opponent, and in comes another, for Josh Kelly’s huge homecoming show on December 16.
“The threat posed to Josh’s plans for next year remains high with Ramirez, who comes to the UK next week, with 17 knockouts on his record, nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“But Josh is the one of this country’s best fighters and the change of opponent has not changed his laser-focus on delivering a performance for his Sunderland fans to be proud of, but one that also sends out a statement of intent for next year.
“Make no mistake, 2024 is gearing up to be Josh Kelly’s year and a big win on December 16, on DAZN, sets that up perfectly.”