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Folkestone's Josh Kennedy to fight Jason Cunningham in Doncaster

By Cameron Hogwood

Josh Kennedy has confirmed he will fight two-time Commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham in a potential title eliminator in Doncaster next month.

The Folkestone super bantamweight will enter the bout with an 11-1 record, having suffered the first defeat of his professional career against Tyrone McCullagh in October.

Cunningham (24-6), meanwhile, returns to the ring after losing on points to Michael Conlan at the Manchester Arena in December.

Josh Kennedy
Josh Kennedy

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Kennedy said: “It will be a 10 rounder in Doncaster on May 11.

“I’m just waiting for the British Boxing Board of Control to confirm whether it’s going to be a British eliminator, if that goes ahead and it is an eliminator whoever wins would be the mandatory challenger for the British title.

“He’s a former two-weight Commonwealth champion, he was the bantamweight Commonwealth champion and the featherweight Commonwealth champion and I believe he was English champion as well, so it’s going to be a tough fight.

“I think my boxing skills are better than his though, so I’m looking forward to another win.

“He’s been in there with some quality opponents so I can’t take anything away from him, but he doesn’t like to be pushed back and for my weight division I feel I’m one of the strongest in Britain. There’s no-one stronger than me at super bantamweight, I’m chucking three times my own weight around in the gym when I’m doing strength and conditioning.

“When Jason Cunningham is given the opportunity to come forward and use his jab he looks really good, but at the moment when he gets pushed back he starts to panic. I’m going to come forward and push him back and that’s how I’m going to dictate the fight.”

Kennedy remains intent on distancing himself from the temptation to boost his record by taking on unproven and inexperienced fighters, instead welcoming a challenge on the back of his first defeat.

“I can’t wait, there are a lot of people who think this is quite a tough fight to take after a loss, but I’m not in this game to get wins from beating nobodies,” admitted Kennedy.

“There’s nothing proud about getting a win after beating a kid who has had 50 losses, I don’t want that on my record. I want to constantly move forward so taking a fight like this after a loss, people think it’s crazy but for me it’s crazy to go back and box a nobody.”

A rematch with McCullagh is also in the 27-year-old’s sights after he was beaten by the Northern Irishman to the vacant WBO European super bantamweight title in a unanimous points decision.

Kennedy added: “We thought he was going to stand there and have a fight but he did the exact opposite and ran away from me.

“For me that’s not boxing but he did what he needed to do to win the fight, hopefully there will be an opportunity in the future to get that fight again.

“The way things are going I’m going to absolutely walk through him because his game plan is hit and run, if he tries to do that in the next fight we’ll have worked on something to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Read more: All the latest Kent sports news

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