New Opponent for Josh Kelly in Sunderland

Josh Kelly will now face Colombian KO artist Placido Ramirez when he returns home to fight in Sunderland on December 16, live on DAZN. 

‘Pretty Boy’ was due to face the dangerous Roarke Knapp but injury has forced the South African out of their super welterweight showdown at the Beacon of Light.

In his place comes Ramirez, the big-punching 29-year-old who heads to Wearside next week knowing that he can catapult himself into world title contention by wrecking Kelly’s homecoming party. 

Kelly, ranked as the No1 contender on the planet, will be fighting in Sunderland for the first time as a professional and knows Ramirez represents a major threat to his big plans for 2024, which include a world title tilt and a fight at the Stadium of Light. 

Also added to the event is one of British boxing’s most exciting young fighters, Tom Welland

The 19-year-old announced himself to the paid ranks with a devastating fourth round stoppage win on his debut in Brighton last month. 

And Welland joins Newcastle’s Dan Toward, fresh from his stunning debut knockout triumph in Bolton on Friday night, as Wasserman Boxing showcases two of the country’s brightest young stars on DAZN. 

Hard-hitting Kazak Tursynbay Kulakhmet, a former World Amateur Championships medalist, is another top-level addition to the card, and joins local stars Ben MarksbyHarvey Lambert and Travis Waters as well as Romanian Andrei Dascalu

The IBF world middleweight title eliminator between Denis Radovan and Andrei Mikhailovich has been postponed, however. 

A muscle injury to Germany’s Radovan means he won’t be fit for the final eliminator which was due to act as the co-main event on December 16. 

Radovan is ranked No3 with IBF and knew victory in Sunderland would land him a shot at world champion Janibek Alimkhanuly, but injury means the unbeaten 31-year-old must now wait to secure his chance. 

Kalle Sauerland, Global Head of Boxing at Wasserman Boxing, said: “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.” 

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