Lucas Ballingall [8(3)-0] will run but won’t be able to hide from Karl Kelly in Belfast tomorrow night – and will eventually get knocked out claims Jay Byrne.
Kelly [1(0)-0] seems to be following his manager’s lead and takes a massive step up on the MHD Promotions card at the Europa Hotel on Saturday.
In just his second fight – and his first six rounder – the super featherweight takes on an undefeated, more experienced and highly-rated English prospect.
A step too far too soon? His manager, who has risk-taking previous, certainly doesn’t think so and is confident the Dubliner will register a stoppage win on the Assassin’s Creed show.
Asked by Irish-Boxing.com for a prediction and the fighter who fights Craig O’Brien in an anticipated March 3rd Irish light middleweight title fight responded, “Karl lands heavy on this kid and he knocks him out – fact.”
“No doubt he’ll have his running shoes on but we’ve played chasing with Karl all camp and he’s catching us now.”
“He’s trained really hard and trained full time, he hit weight Thursday. I hope I am proved right Saturday night for taking this fight. I believe Karl can win and so does Declan [Geraghty, coach] and the more we watch the kid the more belief we get.”
Byrne is aware some will be critical of the fact he allowed Kelly take a step up so early, but the Irish title hopeful remains adamant any fighters under his managerial guidance will have to take risks.
It’s a case of ‘do as I say and do as I do’ for the fighting manager. ‘The Negotiator’ went in as the opponent on three Matchroom shows last year and although he suffered three defeats, he claims the Sky Sports broadcast fights were crucial in enabling him to win the BUI Celtic title against Gerard Whitehouse.
“‘Doubt me now’ was what I said after I won the Celtic title and now I head into an Irish title fight in four weeks, that’s a fight I will win by KO too. Would I have got this far if I didn’t take the risks I took? No chance!”
“Any of my fighters now and in the future will not be just handed easy wins over long periods. It creates bad habits and complacency and that’s not for me, I believe In training for fights and wars not easy handy wins.”
“Too many fighters in Ireland and the UK are babies and afraid to take on 50/50 or 60/40 fights.”
Talking about the fight, Kelly himself said, “Camp went really well we worked on everything we had to. I feel good and I am looking forward to getting in there Saturday and enjoying it. “