Undefeated in six, with four KOs, the light-middleweight will top the VIP Promotions card when he takes on Max Maxwell.
Birmingham’s Maxwell - now in the twilight of his career but a former domestic title challenger whose 37-fight CV includes a stunning KO of British champ, Brian Rose - represents a big step up for Kelly. Undaunted, Jimmy, 20, is up for the biggest challenge of his fledgling career and looking forward to pitting himself against his wily foe.
“I’m expecting the Max Maxwell who knocked out Brian Rose; I’m training for the best [version],” said Kelly, a former England international. “Obviously he has lost a few recently and he might have got old overnight but it’s still a step up for me and the hardest fight of my career.
“He’s a tough, live opponent and I’m not taking anything for granted because lightning can strike twice. If I take him for granted then I could end up as another name that he’s knocked out. So we’re putting all the hard work in in the gym and I can’t wait.”
Last time out in March, also at The Forum, Jimmy took less than a round to stop Simone Lucas. Surprised but delighted with that victory, the pressure fighter is carrying on from his time in the unpaid code where he earned a reputation as a boxer with the tools to finish fights early.
“I was over the moon because we expected it to go the distance but towards the end of the first round I threw a left hook, caught him clean and it was all over. I was really pleased and, looking at his record beforehand, didn’t expect it.
“When I was an amateur I stopped a lot of people with work rate and accurate punches, and I’ve carried that over into the pros. I’ve been knocking people out with one punch but it’s also my speed, and I catch people with punches they can’t see coming.”
Jimmy will really make a statement if he can end the challenge of Maxwell inside the distance. Renowned for his durability, the 33-year-old veteran has only failed to hear the final bell twice since turning over in 2006. Happy just to chalk up win number seven, Kelly Jnr will box to orders and let his punches decide the rest.
“If the stoppage is there then it’ll be there, but I won’t look for it,” said Jimmy. “Hopefully with my sharpness and speed he could walk onto something, but first and foremost I’ll be boxing to the game plan we’ve set and get the win. If the stoppage comes then it’s a bonus, and it’s a possibility it could come.”
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