The Avanesyan Express Thunders On
By Ian Aldous
They exuded confidence all week. In fact, they exuded it since December 2018, when the first David Avanesyan vs. Josh Kelly fight was cancelled, just hours before bell time.
Manager Neil Marsh and coach Carl Greaves have been supremely confident in David Avanesyan since day one. He’d already proved his ability with wins over Shane Mosley and Kerman Lejarraga (twice), the knockout artist who Avanesyan ripped the European title from. Admittedly, Mosley was faded, but Lejarraga was, at the time, undefeated and on home turf. David returned to Spain and won the rematch in even more dominating fashion.
In a twist of fate, that opportunity to battle for the European title only came to pass after the first Kelly fight was cancelled. Fate had dealt some a glimpse of positivity after the cruelness of having a fight taken at less than twelve hours notice.
Undeterred by wasting time and energy on three training camps, they not only pursued, but demanded the fight with Kelly be made.
I bought the fact that Marsh and Greaves truly believed they would leave with the spoils. The duo sold that notion to not just me, but many within the game. But, on the other hand, it wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill boxer opposing him. Josh Kelly is a former Olympian. We were led to think the slickster from Sunderland would utilise his silky skills to nullify the Russian. He showed flashes of that amateur pedigree on Saturday night, but it wasn’t enough to keep the European champion at bay. It barely made a dent.
Heart and desire overpowered the supposed difference in skill level, if there even was that much of a gap.
Bloodied, battered, and down twice in the sixth, this mountain had been conquered at the fourth attempt, when Adam Booth threw in the towel. Those previous camps for the cancelled fights with PBK in December 2018, March 2020, and January of this year hadn’t been completely wasted.
Christmas away from his family and young child had all been worth it. It’s easy to sometimes dismiss and forget the sacrifices these warriors suffer to support their loved ones.
At thirty-two years old, Avanesyan now sits upon the precipice of a big fight. Highly-ranked and with three successful defences of his European strap in the bag – a big fight imminently awaits.
Only Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia and Yordenis Ugas possess a loftier ranking at welterweight, according to Boxrec. Illustrious company for ‘Ava’ as he prepares for a deserved crack at a world title.
Who would you like to see him against next? Whoever it is, rest assured that Marsh and Greaves will expect their man to win again. They won’t rest until he becomes king of the welterweights.
All aboard the Avanesyan Express. Next stop: a world title shot.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing