‘PBK’ faced the biggest test of his career at The SSE Arena, Wembley, stepping up a level to challenge a battle-hardened former world champion for the European welterweight title.
Kelly made an impressive start to a much-anticipated bout that was three years in the making, utilising his greater speed and rocking his opponent in a stylish opening.
However, Avanesyan’s relentless pressure quickly slowed the 2016 Olympian, who began to absorb heavy punishment to the head and body in a bloody battle.
Kelly has now broken his silence for the first time since Saturday’s punishing defeat, writing on Instagram on Monday: “First of all I want to thank god for helping me and David return home safe and healthy to our family’s [sic].
“The support I’ve received not just before this fight but after has blew me away really has some of the messages and phones calls have been so deep.
“When set backs happen in your life it shows who’s really there for you and on your side through thick or thin and this has shown me how many people care for me as a person not just a boxer.
“The support from around the country and the world has been another level but the support from Sunderland has been above and beyond and I’m truly proud to come from such a strong small city what shows it’s hard character again and again.
“I gave it my all in there Saturday another experience I take on this journey in life beat by a better man on the night and that’s that’s God bless.”