John Kelly: Former British and European bantamweight champion dies aged 85

Belfast man John Kelly, who held the Irish, British and European bantamweight boxing titles in the early 1950s, has died at the age of 84.

Kelly won the Irish title in June 1953 when he beat Eddie 'Bunty' Doran.

Four months later, Kelly landed the British and European titles by beating Scotland's Peter Keenan over 15 rounds.

Kelly defended his European belt against Belgian Jean Kidy a month later but then lost the title in his next defence against France's Robert Cohen.

Cohen knocked down Kelly several times in the bout before it was stopped in the third round.

Kelly lost his British title seven months later when Keenan avenged his earlier defeat by stopping the Belfast man in six rounds.

A brief stint at featherweight followed for Kelly before he ended his career in 1957 with an eight-round knockout of Teddy Baker, which left him with a record of 24 wins and four defeats.

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