Eastside Ryan Kelly took on unbeaten southpaw Michael McKinson for his WBC international silver welterweight title at the Brentwood centre Brentwood (9/3/19) with over 200 of his supporters cheering him. McKinson who was a very tricky opponent fought a very good fight with Kelly showing a lot of heart, skill, ring craft and determination this was a very hard fought but close fight taking it to the judges score cards. The judges score cards were unanimous with Christophe Fernandez giving it 99-90, Esa Lehtosaari having it 97-93 and Kevin McCann scoring it 97-92 all in favour of the champion McKinson.
Kelly put this statement up the next day on social media, he wrote “Well what can I say, woke up absolutely heart broken and disappointed. I would like to thank every single person who supported me the atmosphere was out of this world and you all did me proud. All I can do is sit down and work on things that went wrong, but I promise you this isn’t the end of me it’s simply just another learning curve. Thanks to all my friends/family/sponsors and general supporters I couldn’t do it without you all. I also want to say what a fighter and a gentleman Michael McKinson is, fought a great fight and I take my hat off to him.
I'm gutted for Ryan, but the right person won, I did think the scoring was a bit wide because there were a lot of close rounds that would have been down to what style you like. Kelly showed loads of heart and determination and some great ring craft as he took on a very, very tricky and awkward southpaw. Take nothing away from McKinson he fought a great fight but I did think it was closer than all three of the judges scored it. Kelly is still a young man and like with the Harper defeat will learn from this and come back a even better boxer. I can still see the “Ruthless” one contending for the British title in the next few years. As the saying goes “you don’t lose you learn” and I’m sure Kelly and his Eastside team will be back in the squared circle very soon.