Josh Kelly Returns Home To Face
Roarke Knapp In Sunderland On Dec. 16
Josh Kelly fights in front of his home fans for the first
time as a professional when he faces Roarke Knapp in
Sunderland on December 16.
Shown live exclusively on DAZN worldwide, Kelly headlines
the Wasserman Boxing show against the power-punching South
African at the Beacon of Light, with both men daring to put
their world title ambitions on the line.
Kelly has boxed all over the world but will walk to the ring
in his hometown for the first time since 2012, when he was a
rising amateur, on the path towards international titles and
‘Pretty Boy’ is now one of the world’s leading contenders in
the super welterweight division and his return home, which
is set in the shadow of the famous Stadium of Light,
promises to be an emotionally charged evening.
But Johannesburg’s Knapp also has strong ties to the city
and says, like Kelly, he is a lifelong supporter of
Sunderland AFC, thanks to his father and grandparents who
were born in the city.
Josh Kelly said: “I’m so excited to be boxing back home, in
Sunderland, for the first time as a professional.
I can’t wait to put on a show and get dancing under those
lights on December 16th, with the support of my city behind
Roarke Knapp said: “This is my time to step it up, I belong
with the best in the world and so what better way to cement
my legacy and introduce myself to the world, than in the UK.
“Kelly is a sublime talent, we’ve both got brilliant styles
and it’s going to be great to mix it up and see who the
better man on the night is.
“I spent my formative years in the UK, I still have family
there and my Dad was born and bred in the Sunderland, so the
blood that flows through these veins is also from Sunderland
and I am a Sunderland fan through and through.”
Kalle Sauerland, Global Head of Boxing at Wasserman Boxing,
said: “December 16 is the most important night of Josh
Kelly’s career and so making sure he has the backing of his
home fans, was vital.
“I was stunned to learn that he’s not boxed in the great
sporting city of Sunderland since he was an amateur, 11
years ago, so for everyone involved this is going to be a
“Josh is one of British boxing’s most gifted fighters and
now that he is entering his prime, he is ready for
all-comers. Knapp is the type of big-punching fighter that a
lot of Josh’s rivals would have avoided like the plague, but
not our man. To prove he is the best in the division, he’s
prepared to take on anyone.”
"Another great fight to add to our best-in-class autumn
schedule” said Alfie Sharman VP, DAZN.
“Josh Kelly has all the tools to become a World Champion and
on the 16th December, he takes a step closer to fulfilling
that potential. Watch it live and exclusive, only on DAZN.”
Kelly, 29, is enjoying one of British boxing’s most
compelling comeback stories of recent times and knows he
will stand on the brink of a world title shot if he can
defuse the power of Knapp, who has brutally stopped 12 of
The former Great Britain amateur, who toyed with the
previously unbeaten Gabriel Corzo live on DAZN in July, is
ranked as the No1 contender by the WBO, and also holds lofty
positions with the IBF and WBC.
Knapp, whose record stands at 17-1-1, has built his
reputation in South Africa but is now ready to travel
overseas to pursue his own world title ambitions.
And on December 16, at the Beacon of Light and live on DAZN,
they meet to determine which one takes a giant stride
towards the top.