Kelly plodded forward the entire fight, pressuring Evans. In the opening round, Kelly was able to land his left hand on several occasions. Evans was the faster of the two, but got outworked.
Evans had his moments. He landed some hard kicks and knees to the body, but was throwing one shot at a time. Kelly threw combinations and kept Evans off rhythm with the volume of his strikes.
In the closing seconds of the final round, Evans unloaded a flurry of punches but it was too little too late. It was a close fight, but Kelly’s output likely swung the slit decision his way.
“It feels awesome. I couldn’t be happier,” said Kelly following the win. “My striking is starting to look better.”
Kelly wants a ranked opponent in his next outing, and would like to fight in Australian homeland.
“I reckon I’m due for a ranked opponent next. Maybe they’ll come to the other side of my world,” he said.
For Evans, he’s now lost three fights in a row. He hasn’t put together a win since 2013, but middleweight could be his natural division.