The Newcastle Arena will host a hotly-contested North-East derby when British super-welterweight champion Troy Williamson (19-0-1, 14KOs) defends versus Josh Kelly (12-1-1, 7KOs) on Friday evening.

The fight will be broadcast live on Channel 5.

County Durham’s Williamson picked up the Lord Lonsdale belt with an eleventh-round stoppage of Ted Cheeseman in October last year.

The 31-year-old has made one successful defence since against Mason Cartwright and maintains he won’t be treating Sunderland’s Kelly any different to previous opponents heading into Friday night.

“It’s another fight. I’m a true professional so I take every fight seriously, it doesn’t matter if it was against a journeyman or for a world title. Nothing’s changed, hard work and dedication as always”, Williamson told Channel 5.

Williamson tore the title from Ted Cheeseman last year in Liverpool after eleven hellacious rounds. Picture by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.

Kelly meanwhile will be looking to land his first major title as a pro in his third fight since moving to 154lbs from welterweight in July.

The Rio 2016 Olympian has struggled to match expectations so far as a pro but insists the pressure is on his opponent heading into the fight.

“I believe all the pressure is on Troy. I’ve operated at high levels, I’ve boxed in Madison Square Garden, at high levels, I’ve boxed ex-world champions. I’ve been moved quick and I know what these events are like”, Kelly told Wednesday’s press conference.

“I believe all the pressure’s on this man and I feel when he’s walking to the ring he’s gonna feel it on Friday night.”

Manchester light-heavyweight Lyndon Arthur (20-1-0, 14KOs) appears for a second time in 2022 against Portsmouth’s Joel McIntyre (20-4-0, 5KOs) over ten rounds.

Arthur returned to the ring for the first time in ten months in September with a sixth-round stoppage victory.

Victory on Friday will secure a positive ending to the year as the hunt for more titles continues in 2023.

McIntyre gathered the vacant English title in his previous outing versus Chad Sugden however and will look to continue that momentum beyond this weekend.

Hosea Stewart (2-0-1) and Franklin Ignatius (4-0-1, 1KOs) will run it back in a six-round heavyweight rematch following their four-round draw back in July.

Neither man has tasted defeat so far as a professional.

The popular Joe Laws (12-2-0, 5KOs) also returns to his home city in a four-round super-middleweight clash versus Alexander Zeledon (6-38-4).

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