July 14, 2001 - By Paul Upham: Former junior middleweight world title challenger Kevin “Bones” Kelly is looking to be more active at a time in his career when he realises that every fight is so important.
Kelly, 27-7-3 (14), won an eight round unanimous points decision over Josh Clenshaw on Friday night at the Octagon in Sydney, but he was not entirely happy with his performance.
“I was too sloppy. True, he was tough, but I’m very critical of myself. I thought I would have done a lot better, “ said Kelly.
“I was stepping into the middle of his punches, instead of keeping on the outside like Jeff (Fenech) always tells me to. When I started doing that, he couldn’t hit me. I was disappointed that I got caught a bit too much. Especially with some of the lazy jabs he threw out, I wasn’t moving my head.”
Having said that, Kelly is confident that he can still compete on the world stage with the best in the junior middleweight division. And is looking for an opportunity to go back to the USA for an important fight some time in 2001.
“I think if I fight more regularly, I can only get better. I remember a few years ago when I had four or five fights in a year, fighting every two or three months. I was fighting so much better,” said Kelly.
“I honestly believe that I’m training harder now than I was before. Not just with Team Fenech, but in the other training that I’m doing as well. One thing with Team Fenech, you watch the other guys like Skinny (Nedal Hussein) and Hussy (Hussein Hussein) and you pick things up from them. It’s got to rub off.”
Kelly left the Randwick venue early on Friday night after his fight to treat a swollen right hand, which he does not believe is broken.
“It’s very sore, but the doctor examined it after the fight and he didn’t think it was broken. He’s told me to have an x-ray to be sure,” said Kelly, who was very impressed with the debut promotion of Kieran O’Connor.
“It’s the best night of fights I’ve been involved with in Sydney. I think he is a genuine bloke Kieran. He is a breath of fresh air for boxing in Australia,” said Kelly.
If all is well with his right hand, Kelly will go straight back into training for his next fight on August 17 at the Octagon, Randwick Racecourse, Sydney against new Australian middleweight champion “John” Wayne Parr, 7-0 (7).
31 year old Kelly is rated WBA No.10 and lost a close fight to David Reid over 12 rounds in July 1999 for the WBA junior middleweight title. “I’ve got to make every one a winner. I have to fight now and fight regularly. I’m building a house and I’ve got a mortgage and if the boxing money is not making up for the time that I am missing work then it’s not worth it to me,” said Kelly, who was recently married.
“I felt unreal before this fight. Before my last fight I had a damaged arm which hampered my performance. Last night I didn’t have any aches and pains. If I’m fighting again in four weeks, that’s perfect.”