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Ritson vs Hyland Jnr: The Panel plot career path for Josh Kelly

11:09 am, 16th June 2018

The 24-year-old can continue to surge up the 147lb rankings if he takes the Commonwealth title from Kris George on Saturday night in Newcastle, live on Sky Sports.

Standing in the way of Kelly’s world title ambitions are some of the best fighters in the sport, including three-weight king Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter.

We asked The Panel of experts to assess the difficult task that lies ahead for Kelly in a red-hot weight class…

Carl Froch

It’s a tough division for Josh Kelly, to out-speed and out-skill them. It’s a bit of a frightening weight class, but he can mix it with them, definitely.

It can be both daunting and exciting if you’re part of a strong division. But if you’re in those big fights, you’re winning, because you need a dance partner to give you the rewards in this sport. He’s in a great position, but he’s got to have self-belief and confidence.

Johnny Nelson

No way now, but in the future. He has the right attitude and the punch variety. They won’t be there, or will be at the back end of their career. Those boys are at their best now. I believe it might be great timing for Kelly.

An American audience will like his exciting style. He would do well out there.

David Coldwell

The welterweight division is stacked and that may be Kelly’s biggest challenge. It’s about timing as well. When he’s ready to move into that league, it may be a different scene. The way he’s being rushed, he’s on a collision course with huge names like Crawford and Spence Jr etc.

He’s looking fantastic, talent-wise, and has fantastic potential but he is a few levels below the world champions at the minute.

Of course it will be tough to get in that mix, and he needs a few top-level fights before we really know if he’s ready, but all the signs say that he has superstar written all over him.

Frankie Gavin

He needs a lot more time. They are getting on a bit now – Thurman, Porter, Garcia. Who knows? These Americans go up and down the weights.

At the moment, if we’re being realistic, Eddie wouldn’t even put him in with them. Not now, not at this current time, no.

He’s a great prospect, really exciting, and there’s no doubt he’s got the potential to be a world champion, but just not yet.

Jamie Moore

I think he’s definitely got the potential to get to that level and be able to mix with those sort of fighters, if and when he gets there.

But when you’re talking about potential in a young prospect, Josh Kelly is probably the one that stands out most that I’ve seen in many years. His natural attributes are fantastic. His anticipation of shots coming.

I think he works really well with Adam Booth. I have always rated Adam Booth highly as a coach and I think they work really well together. Josh Kelly is nailed on to get to world level, sooner rather than later.

Lewis Ritson against Paul Hyland Jr and Josh Kelly versus Kris George is on Sky Sports Action from 7pm on Saturday night.