Castleford fighter Anthony Holmes holds onto his world title belt with draw against American Chad Kelly

Castleford's Anthony Holmes is still the world bareknuckle boxing champion, but could be heading to the USA for a rematch after he drew with American challenger Chad Kelly in London.

By Tony Harber
Monday, 13th June 2022, 11:48 am
Updated Monday, 13th June 2022, 11:51 am

Hundreds of fans headed to the capital to cheer on ‘The Yorkshire Warrior’ in his highest profile fight to date on the BKB 26 bill at Indigo at The O2 Arena.

Kelly built a reputation in BYB Extreme Fighting in the States – and Holmes could be heading there for a rematch after the judges scored a draw after seven rounds.

Holmes appeared to have done enough to win a close fight by winning the last round convincingly, but he accepted he was not at his best after picking up an eye injury in the first.

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Anthony Holmes drew his world bareknuckle boxing title fight with Chad Kelly.

He said: “I got caught in the first and couldn’t see out of my left eye.

“I got caught fighting his fight and I would love the rematch.”

Holmes looked on course for an early win when the doctor looked at Kelly’s injuries after two rounds.

Kelly was allowed to continue, but struggled to fathom out Holmes in an often scrappy fight.

The judges had Holmes up after three rounds before Kelly clawed his way back into it. The fight looked to be up for grabs going into the last – and Holmes landed all the cleaner shots in the final two minutes.

Kelly took the fight to him at the bell – and ran onto punches. Holmes connected with an uppercut – possibly his best punch of the fight – landed jabs and the final punch of the fight was a left hook that smacked Kelly flush on the chin in the dying seconds.