Journeymen who turn in an unexpected win or two have often told me that the phone stops ringing for a week or so as they have unsettled the natural order of things. It can happen to a titlist, too, as Neil Marsh, European welterweight Champion David Avanesyan’s manager, has told Boxing Social that they are still waiting on offers following his fighter’s sixth-round stoppage win over the previously undefeated and highly-rated Josh Kelly in February.
After beating Kelly, the Russian headed back home to spend time with his family before his next assignment. Avanesyan (26-3-1, 14 KOs) had previously told me that he does the fighting and leaves Marsh and Carl Greaves, his trainer, to set the fights up for him.
Marsh, though, revealed that they have tried to secure a fight against Kazakhstan’s undefeated Daniyar Yeleussinov in the past if it would lead to a world title chance and that they also are up for a meeting with Conor Benn if the Londoner fancies a crack at the EBU belt.
“We did try to make the Yeleussinov fight,” he said. “We were asked if we would take it when the Kelly fight fell through. David said ‘Yes’ — he always does — and we asked if we could take it as a final eliminator, but it fell on deaf ears when we tried to chase it up again. We’ve asked about it since as we are still keen on it. We want that fight if it is for something meaningful, we just haven’t heard anything since. We would definitely take it.”
Yeleussinov is due to announce his next opponent later this week. Some fans were hopeful that Avanesyan would be named, but we’ve just thrown some ice-cold scepticism on those hopes. Boxing tends to strike while the iron is cold, not plugged in and needs a new fuse. However, Marsh says his man is ready and waiting for the call to take on all comers.
When Nigel Benn out-pointed Juan Carlos Gimenez in 1994 he called everyone and anyone out (apart from James Toney, of course). Boxing News ran a front page with the headline: Benn: “Bring ‘em on!” “The Dark Destroyer” fought and beat Gerald McClellan in his next fight.
Marsh believes that Benn’s son, Conor (18-0, 12 KOs), shares his father’s attitude towards taking on everyone and anyone. He doesn’t want to marinate a meeting between Avanesyan and Benn. There isn’t any raw beef on display here, they just want to hand Benn the opportunity to fight for a meaningful title.
“We’ve sounded Conor Benn out,” added Marsh. “We have nothing but massive respect for Conor. David has been waiting for another good fight and it is an easy one for Eddie Hearn to make as both fighters want it. It would be a big fight for the fans so all we need is to get sent the contract and we will take it. Conor says he will fight anyone in the top fifteen. David has the European title. Let’s do it.”
Main images: Matchroom Boxing.