Savin Hill native Jay Kelly will fly to Las Vegas this weekend to begin training for the biggest bout of his emerging pro boxing career. The undefeated 24 year-old middleweight has been booked to fight Shane Mosely, Jr. (4-1) in a five-round Big Knockout Boxing (BKB) bout on June 27. The fight will be televised nationally to a Pay-Per-View audience as part of the BKB network, a boxing hybrid that feature shorter rounds in a “pit” rather than a traditional ring with ropes.
For Kelly, who trains himself and others out of the Dorchester Boxing Club on Parkman Street near Fields Corner, it’s an opportunity to elevate his profile in the sport.
“It’s huge. I try not to think about that too much and think about the mission,” said Kelly, who brought his pro record to 3-0 with a May 16 decision against Jesus Cintron in Boston.
The June 27 fight at Las Vegas’s Mandalay Bay will be the biggest stage to date for Kelly, who was sought out for this fight by Boston-based matchmaker and promoter Mark Vaz, who has watched Kelly’s career as both a trainer and fighter.
“He’s an aggressive fighter,” said Vaz. “He’s not afraid of anybody in there. He’s not a boxer who runs, he comes to bang. He’s a good kid and I’d like to see him get the opportunity,” explained Vaz. “These guys want marketable personalities, who aren’t hoods. They want good guys who conduct themselves professionally in and out of the ring. Jay does great work with amateurs and kids he works with in Dorchester.”
Kelly will go head-to-head with Mosely, whose father ‘Sugar’ Shane was a world champion who is bound for the sport’s hall of fame. Mosely, Jr., 24, is his closely-watched protégé, but suffered an early setback by losing his third pro fight. He has won his last two fights by knock-out.
The BKB rules differ sharply from those of traditional boxing and that’s by design. Promoters design the “pit”— a circle that is just 17 feet in diameter surrounded by a slope— to discourage too much dancing around. They pick fighters known for their aggressive styles. The pairing of Kelly and Mosely promises a lot of action.
“BKB is wholly owned by DirectTV and the concept they came up with was to make boxing a little more exciting. The edges of the pit taper up and they have to stay on the flat surface. So it lends itself very well to aggressive fighters who like to stand in and slug it out.”
The June 27 bout will be Kelly’s first BKB experience, so he’s flying out early to get plenty of practice time in.
Kelly says he will be ready to answer the bell.
“He’s certainly not his father,” Kelly says of his opponent. “I don’t know what he’s doing boxing, actually.”
Kelly has been studying footage of Mosely’s past bouts, including his only loss— a Sept. 2014 decision in which he was bested by Marchristopher Adkins in Phoenix, AZ.
“He beat himself in that fight,” says kelly. He didn’t lose to a better opponent. He had a mental thing going on in there. I’ve been there myself. I didn’t perform to best of my ability in my last fight.”
Kelly v. Mosely will be just one fight in a larger card that will feature BKB veterans Julian Pollard, a Brockton heavyweight, squaring off against Tyrone Spong old Holland. The cost of the Pay-Per-View purchase is $30.
“We make it affordable, give them a really good product,” explained Vaz. “We haven’t had a complaint yet that the fights have been boring.”