JOSH KELLY insists he could not be in better shape as he completes his preparations for Friday’s North-East showdown for the British Super Welterweight title.

Sunderland’s Kelly, who is the reigning WBO International Super Welterweight champion, takes on Darlington’s Troy Williamson, the current holder of the Lonsdale Belt, in what should be a rip-roaring regional clash at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena.

Williamson heads into the contest with an unbeaten record, but Kelly is delighted with his preparations and confident of success.

“Camp has been nothing short of phenomenal,” said the Wearsider, who was a Team GB Olympian during his days in the amateur ranks. “Every ounce of my being has gone into this fight, and what the reward is at the end of it all will make it worth it. I’m used to sacrifice, but I have taken it to new heights this time around.

“I’ve always been a professional and treated my preparations in a way that reflects that, but this is an improved Josh Kelly that is going to tick the British title off his Christmas list before going on to challenge the world’s best.”

Kelly’s relationship with his coach, Adam Booth, has been integral to a recent renaissance that saw him stop Peter Kramer inside four rounds in June and follow up with another triumph over Lucas Bastida a month later.

Booth has previously tutored the likes of David Haye and George Groves, and Kelly is thrilled to be working with one of British boxing’s most respected figures.

“What Adam provides is more than just all of his unmatched knowledge and tactics regarding boxing,” said Kelly. “He lets you know your worth.

“My self-confidence is never lacking, but having a man who is only accustomed to World champion boxers investing the time in you makes you realise what level you are on personally. I have top-level facilities and a top-level coach, and you’ll see a top-level performance on Friday night.”

Williamson claimed the British title by beating Ted Cheeseman, and has subsequently made a successful defence of the Lonsdale belt against Mason Cartwright, but while Kelly respects his County Durham-based opponent, he does not fear his unbeaten record.

“Of course, I’m confident,” he said. “I’ve been preparing my whole life for big nights, and I’ve already experienced plenty of them too. This is exactly where I want to be, and just the first of many belts to add to the collection.

“Josh Kelly being the British Super-Welterweight champion has a nice ring to it. The champion of my country, in my home of the North-East – the script is written for a dream night.”

Friday’s British title showdown tops a bill that will also feature ‘Magic’ Matty Harris, former World champion Katharina Thanderz, local rising star Ben Marksby and Newcastle’s Jordan Barker-Porter.

* Limited tickets for the evening at the Utilita Arena are still available from