Kelly takes first run at Roy Jones

August 13, 2001 – By Paul Upham: Australia’s IBF No.1 Glenn Kelly began training for his IBF light-heavyweight title fight with Roy Jones in October with a 14 kilometre run on Sunday morning. It wasn’t any usual run either as Kelly was joined by a record number of 56,625 people in Sydney’s annual “City to Surf” run from the centre of the 2000 Olympic City to Bondi Beach in the Eastern Suburbs.

Kelly finished the demanding hilly street course in 65 minutes, with the race being won by 21-year-old Tanzanian John Msuri in 40 minutes 24 seconds.

“I’ve got a big blister on my foot, but I wasn’t tired and I ran well. Heart break hill didn’t give me any problems,” said Kelly.

“I ran really hard at the end. As I get closer to the finish, I pick people out ahead of me and say to myself, ‘I’m not going to let him beat me’. Then I pick someone else and beat them and then I chase someone else down.”

Glenn Kelly, 28-0-1 (16), maintained his unbeaten record with a unanimous eight round points decision over Adelaide’s Jamie Wallace at the Bankstown Bellevue Function Centre in Sydney on August 3 in what was his final fight before the biggest test of his life.

Despite the knowledge that a loss or serious injury could de-rail his chances of a fight with light-heavyweight supremo Jones, Kelly approached his latest bout the same as any other.

“There was no pressure. It was never on my mind,” said Kelly.

“All I’m thinking now is Roy Jones. We’ll know soon. But that’s who I’m focused on. I’ve got enough power to hurt him. He is only a little man and on the night it is anyone’s fight. I know he looks a lot better on paper, but I am very confident in my ability.”

The next 10 weeks will see Kelly train harder than he ever has before. A full-time council garbageman in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, the IBF Pan Pacific champion will take time off work to focus on his dream.

“It will be my hardest training ever. Diet properly. Everything done right,” said Kelly.

“I’ve never been this excited about a fight. This is my chance at the big time. I’ll only get one chance and I aim to take it.”

Kelly was installed as the mandatory opponent for Roy Jones following the Australian’s September 2000 knockout of Billy Lewis. Jones’ last mandatory defence of the IBF title was on September 9 last year against Eric Harding.

The undefeated Kelly is also rated WBA No.3, WBC No.6 and WBO No.2 and now looks towards October 28 when Jones must defend against him or vacate the IBF title.

“Now I’m going to pick Roy Jones out and beat him. Win, lose or draw I’m going to shock a lot of people. I’m going to put up a great fight no matter what,” said Kelly.

Paul Upham
Contributing Editor
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