Junior middleweight Josh Kelly outboxed Lucas Bastida on Saturday to claim a 10-round unanimous decision at the Vertu Motors Arena in Newcastle, England.

It was a second consecutive win for the 28-year-old Kelly (12-1-1, 7 knockouts), after unravelling against David Avanesyan  and losing by sixth round stoppage in February of 2021. The Adam Booth-trained fighter is signed with Wasserman Boxing, while the defeat is the Argentinean’s first since his fourth fight. 

Kelly made a fast start and enjoyed the much better opening. His pin-point jab kept Bastida honest in the second round and was the key punch in the fight. The Argentine fighter landed his best shot, a left cross, late in the third round but was all too often swinging wide and off-target in the early going. 

Kelly, who was a 2016 Olympian, used his superior technical ability to pick his shots and upper body movement to make Bastida miss. The rugged Mar Del Plata native looked to be more aggressive in the middle rounds and had some success but not enough to really put a dent in Kelly. 

The British fighter was able to hold off Bastida (18-2-1, 10 KOs), who looked disheartened, and box from distance. The two fighter’s heads came together in the eighth and left Kelly cut on his left eye. To his credit Bastida barrelled forward and though it wasn’t his night landed a handful of shots late in the ninth round.

Kelly played it safe and kept things tight, while Bastida’s aggression likely saw him claim the final round. When the scorecards were read out Kelly was awarded the unanimous decision: 99-92, 98-92 and 96-95

Kelly was largely happy with his performance and quickly turned his attention to a domestic dust up.

“I think I showed discipline in there tonight,” said Kelly. “I’m here for all the big fights including [British champion] Troy [Williamson.]”

Williamson was on hand to greet Kelly and talk about their potential fight for local bragging rights moments later.

In chief support, rising junior welterweight Harlem Eubank was made to work before claiming a ninth-round disqualification over Eliot Chavez.

Eubank had the better of the early exchanges before the Mexican got back into the fight in the fourth. The next two rounds were closer contested. 

In the seventh round when referee Kenny Pringle called break and Chavez landed a pair of hard shots that dropped Eubank heavily. The 28-year-old nephew of former world champion Chris Eubank Sr., took his time and when the action got back underway used movement to negate Chavez. 

The fighters were up close in the ninth round and the referee again called for the fighters to break and Chavez threw a late left hand. This time the infraction cost him as he was disqualified at 2:13 of the round. Eubank moves to (15-0, 6 KOs), while Chavez dips to (11-5-1, 6 KOs).

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on 

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