Josh Kelly has vowed to “find holes” in the anticipated trash talk from David Avanesyan’s team when they face-off at Thursday’s press conference.
Kelly and Avanesyan meet in a European welterweight title fight on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports, but must first fulfil media duties which previously became spiky.
Avanesyan’s manager Neil Marsh offered a Valentine’s Day rose to Kelly’s trainer Adam Booth a year ago, prior to the second postponement of this fight, when tempers frayed and insults were hurled.
“It’s cheap and nasty, what they did,” Kelly told Sky Sports. “But I won’t get emotionally involved, I will stay business-like.
“More fool them because they will run into problems. They will have egg on their face.
“I’m mentally on the ball. I’ve looked at great fighters of the past – I’ve looked at who did a lot of talking and who didn’t. There are pros and cons to both.
“When you let people run their mouth, you will find holes in what they are saying.”
Avanesyan’s trainer Carl Greaves added: “We keep David out of it. Neil Marsh, his manager, [and I] say what we’ve got to say. And we keep him out of it. We keep David away from all the talking.”
Russia’s Avanesyan arrives with a reputation as a big puncher, having won his past three fights by stoppage in his opponents’ home country.
It is expected to be the most gruelling test of 2016 Olympian Kelly’s unbeaten pro career, made sterner by the animosity that is boiling between the two teams.
“It’s time to prove everyone wrong,” Kelly said. “It’s time to prove that what I know is right.
“Mentally it’s down to me. I know where I’m at.
“Pure excitement, I can’t wait. I’ve had a smile on my face for weeks knowing this fight was coming.
“I’ve got ingredients that I’ve added that I will show on Saturday. I believe a stoppage win is coming.
“I genuinely believe that when I punch him, he’ll find out what power I’ve got, and he’ll start doubting the forward pressure that will so-called put on.
“I’ve got a good premonition, I have good energy. Everything is on point.”
Avanesyan’s trainer Greaves said: “David is the defending champion and is desperate for another world title fight.
“It’s a crossroads fight – is Josh as good as people think? We’ll find out. But I firmly believe that David has his number.
“David will stop Josh. He has looked fantastic in training – he is so strong mentally and physically.
“He’s a hungry fighter. He’ll get Josh out of there in the later rounds.”
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