Josh Kelly wipes out Placido Ramirez inside three rounds for Sunderland homecoming

Josh Kelly fought in his native Sunderland for the first time in his 17 fight professional career. 

The 2016 Olympian took on Columbia’s Placido Ramirez, who came in as replacement for South Africa’s Roarke Knapp. Ramirez was last in action just less than a month ago when he faced off with Denis Nurja in Tirana, Albania. The bout was stopped in the fourth round as fans entered the ring to attack Ramirez, the fight going down as a NC. 

The 29 year old South American defeated Lukasz Wierzbicki early this year, knocking out his opponent in the fourth round on away soil in Poland.

Kelly was in his fifth straight fight with Wasserman looking for a straight fifth win since a lone career defeat to David Avanesyan in 2021. He went into the bout ranked at number 1 for Tim Tszyu’s WBO super welterweight title. 

The first round began with Kelly putting a quick combination to the body of Ramirez. A deafening crowd of 1500 packed into the Beacon of Light who sang the Sunderland football chants all evening. Kelly landed a good uppercut on the inside as the round ended, Ramirez was looking far off the pace win comparison. 

Kelly rejected his stool in the interval ahead of the second round. Another good uppercut landed followed by a right hand that seemed to rock Ramirez. Kelly’s hands were down at his knees as he avoided the Columbian’s jabs with ease. Kelly patrolled the ring at his pace for the remainder of the three minutes and was up ready for the third long before the bell. 

Round three saw Kelly land a good double jab, he would land a good right hand to the body seconds later. Kelly was back on his double jab not long after, snapping the neck back of Ramirez. The South American was down on the canvas, but it was waved off as push came at the end of Kelly’s combination. However, just seconds later Kelly landed a rapid right uppercut to the head of Ramirez which sent to his hands and knees. The referee waved the fight off at 2.38 with Ramirez showing no signs of wanting to continue. 

Kelly’s record improves to 15-1-1 (8 KOs) to set up a potentially career defining 2024. The Sunderland native had been touted as a potential opponent for Conor Benn, Kell Brook and stablemate Chris Eubank Jr in the pre fight press conference this Thursday. 

Ramirez flies home with a record of 25-4 (17 KOs). The Columbian ends 2023 with a knockout defeat and an unimaginable NC in a year that began so well.