JOSH KELLY is hoping his forthcoming Tyneside showdown with Lucas Bastida will help pave the way for a tilt at a major title.

Kelly will take on Argentinian Bastida at super welterweight in the feature attraction of a ‘North-East Takeover’ show at Newcastle’s Vertu Motors Arena on July 30 that will be broadcast live on terrestrial television on Channel Five.

The Sunderland fighter suffered the first setback of his career when he lost to David Avanesyan in a European Welterweight title fight at Wembley Arena in February 2021, and has not been in the ring since stopping Peter Kramer in Liverpool last June.

Next month’s meeting with Bastida represents the next step of his recovery mission, with a victory potentially setting up a much bigger fight in the latter half of the year.

“He (Bastida) is a tough South American, who has plenty of experience for a fighter who is 25 years old,” said Kelly, who fought at the 2016 Olympics in Rio as an amateur. “To only have one loss on his record show how tough he is, there’s no doubt he’ll be coming to win.

“He’s someone who is going to give me the hard rounds I need to get back into the mix for big fights and major titles. It’s very much the same from me though – I’m coming to show my class, and I’ll be looking to get him out, 100 per cent.”

Bastida, nicknamed ‘El Tornado’, claimed a stoppage success in his last fight too, and has won 18 of his 20 bouts as a professional.

He boasts a height advantage over Kelly, and is confident he can upset the Wearsider in his native North-East.

“Josh Kelly has Olympic experience, and he’s a good boxer who is very fast,” said Bastida. “I saw his fight against Avanesyan, where he got knocked down and then he got stopped, so I think the key to victory will be to go to war from the beginning of the fight. This is my first fight abroad, but I’m a warrior in life, so I’ll be going to war as soon as the bell rings.”

Next month’s bill will also feature a super lightweight showdown between the unbeaten Harlem Eubank and Tom Farrell. Eubank will be looking to claim a 15th straight success against Farrell, who outpointed Nigerian Olaide Fijabi in Liverpool earlier this month.

Unbeaten heavyweights Hosea Stewart and Franklin Ignatius will go head-to-head, meaning that something will have to give, while Newcastle’s Aaron Chalmers will tackle his second professional fight as part of a hometown promotion.

Tickets for the North-East Takeover, which is live on Channel Five in association with William Hill, Numan and Infinitum Entertainment, are on sale now, starting at £40, and are available from