Karl Kelly happy for deep-end experience following first loss


Karl Kelly [1(0)-1(0)] took from the teachings of one Nelson Mandela after he made an early step up in class in Belfast on Saturday.

Mandela famously said ‘I never lose, I either win or learn’ and after the new-to-the-game Dublin fighter was outpointed by English prospect Lucas Ballingall on Saturday’s Assassins Creed card he was singing off the same hymn sheet. 

The Monkstown fighter made the big move of travelling to take on a vaunted prospect in just his second pro fight.

He came out the wrong side of a 60-57 scorecard but, while he was upset afterwards, he did seem aware defeat was a possibility such was the risk he was taking – and if Kelly wasn’t going to reap the rewards scalping the Portsmouth fighter would bring, he was adamant he would at the very least takes lessons from the fight.

“Look it’s only my second fight and it was a good learning experience, it’s not all about the big fancy 0. Look at Jay [Byrne, manager] himself, he has gone on to win the BUI Celtic title. It’s not the end of the World, I will take it on the chin and learn from it,” Kelly told Irish-Boxing.com before reflecting on one of a number of entertaining fights on the card.

“It was a war of a fight. We knew it was going to be a war, I just got tired in the last two rounds or so. He caught me a good body shot and it took me a good while to recover and he kept the pressure up.”

“I enjoyed that fight, it was a war. I had to dig deep and bite down on my gumshield and go right I want this, now I didn’t get him in the end, but that’s the name of the game.”

“I reckon I hurt him in the earlier rounds, coming into the later rounds I got tired so I lost my power and the venom in my shots. In the clinch he tied me up and obviously he worked on that after watching videos of me.”

The former semi-pro all action man didn’t quite have time to reflect on what was learnt during the reverse, but was able to point out two obvious things he needs addressing.

“I messed up when cutting the ring off. I won’t lie, I could have been fitter too – I cut a few corners in camp in the last week. I now know to work my away around corners rather than cut them, cutting them cost me in the last two rounds. It’s my own fault.”

Kelly will most likely return to Dublin and lesser opposition when he returns, but wouldn’t be surprised if he was handed another tough clash by manager Byrne.

“I will see what Jay brings for me. He doesn’t want me to have a padded record. You can see there from that fight I am not going to have things easy. Most managers give their boys easy fights for the first eight or nine fights at least. I am straight in at the deep-end and I am happy to do that,” Kelly added.

“I don’t want to be fighting journeymen. You learn more from a spar than fighting them. I will take what I can from that fight go back to the gym and learn from it. I said from day one I didn’t want easy fights hence this fight.”

“He was 8-0 and I was never being brought to win I was brought in to be beaten, but I gave it a go.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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