Coming to America: Jimmy Kelly Jr interview

Chris Glover
30/07/2019 12:22pm

Manchester's Jimmy Kelly Jr and his management have set sights on a move stateside in the near future, the 26-year-old tells Chris Glover as he targets a middleweight world title shot...

Jimmy Kelly Jr - who lost a 2015 challenge for the WBO super welterweight title against Liam Smith - has now moved up to middleweight and believes that the step-up in weight will be the final piece in his world title-winning puzzle.

The Mancunian opened up to BM about his move up to the 160lbs division.

Kelly Jr said, "Since I've moved up to middleweight I feel like a different fighter. I've moved camps and I'm now with Anthony Farnell and I feel very refreshed as a fighter. I'm still learning a lot and physically my strength and conditioning team are really helping me come into my own as a professional and as a man physically.

"My goal has always been to become a world champion. I've won a lot of titles and I'm only 26 and I truly believe that I am now coming to the stage in my career that I have the ability to make that happen."

North America is the home of the elite middleweights, with Canelo Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade and Gennady Golovkin all fighting in the United States on a regular basis. Kelly Jr is looking to get his own slice of the action, backed by Manchester-based outfit Clearwater Management,

The Wythenshawe native said, "Firstly I have to continue to thank everybody at Clearwater Management who are helping me push forward constantly and helping me create avenues to get me to the top. They give me 100 per cent of their time, and that is what a boxer needs to fulfil their potential and I am very grateful to have that now.

"Our plan is to head to America for my next fight. We have a few opponents in mind that will be confirmed in the coming days and it may shock a few people, but I'm a realist. The likes of Andrade, Canelo and GGG aren't coming to the U.K. to fight, so I am going over there to put myself in the shop window to fight them.

"I will fight anyone and if the likes of these champions are looking for an opponent, well I am going to show them I'm prepared to come to their doorstep to challenge them and I also intend on proving that I am on the level of the fighters that the likes of Andrade have been fighting.

"I don't mean to disrespect them, but I would give Andrade a much harder night than the likes of [Artur] Akavov and [Maciej] Sulecki did and I am going to the USA to show that to the boxing public first hand."