Conor Benn still eyeing Josh Kelly showdown but says welterweight rival ‘must prove he wants it’ after first career loss

CONOR BENN still fancies a Josh Kelly showdown — despite the Mackem’s painful Saturday night loss.

Sunderland’s welterweight ace was beaten up by Russia’s David Avanesyan and stopped in the sixth round.

Kelly’s failed European shot means he has dropped drastically down the pecking order.

But the son of British ring legend Nigel knows he still has a mega-money fight on the table.

Benn said: “Kelly has got all the skill. He is naturally gifted.

“Why does he keep blowing up after four or five rounds?

"Maybe it is a weight issue, maybe he should move up a weight, because I like Kelly, I do.

“I’m gutted for him, to be honest, I really am.”

Benn, 24, was ringside in Wembley to watch Kelly crumble at his first serious test.

He said: “Everybody knows Kelly is good for four, five, six, but when it gets past that and it gets on top of him, he folds.

“That’s what happened. Avanesyan kept applying the pressure.

“Josh will come back. He’s just got to sit down and question how much he wants it.”

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