Kevin Kelley in Brooklyn, New York but grew up in Flushing Queens) is a timeshare salesman and former professional boxer and television commentator.
Kelley won two New York Golden Gloves Championships as well as the 1985 119 lb Sub-Novice Championship and the 1986 119 lb Open Championship. In 1988 Kelley advanced to the finals of the 125 lb Open division and was to have met Fred Liberatore in the finals. Kelley was injured and could not fight. Liberatore was declared the Champion by Default-Injury.
In the Olympic box-offs he lost to Carl Daniels. His record was 62-5.
Known as the “Flushing Flash”, Kelley held the WBC Featherweight title and defended it until he lost he TKO to, Mexican Alejandro Martín González, after Kelley failed to come out for the 11th round. Kelley won the title by defeating Gregorio Vargas by unanimous decision in 1993.
Kelley was then signed to an HBO contract, and remained in title contention for the next decade. More known for being in big fights rather than gaining big victories, Kelley’s resume includes TKO losses to boxing legends Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, both of which came during Kelley’s career decline.
Kelley’s defeats include losses to Naseem Hamed. In 1997 Hamed flew to the United States to fight there for the first time. His ceremonious arrival on the British Airways Concorde was covered by multiple media outlets. There, he and former two-time WBC Featherweight champion of the world Kevin Kelley fought in Ring Magazine’s fight of the year at the Madison Square Garden in New York. Despite being dropped three times himself, Hamed put Kelley down for a third and final time to win by a fourth round knockout. This was his first of many fights on HBO. The fight was ranked 100th in Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Sporting Moments in 2002.
Kelley knocked out former WBA featherweight champion Derrick Gainer in 1996, a loss which Gainer later avenged via unanimous decision in 1998.
While fighting, Kelley also has moonlighted as a color commentator, most notably for HBO. He was the lead on HBO’s short lived KO Nation television show. The show served as a “hip hop” based boxing broadcast, and was hosted by Ed Lover. Kelley now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and works as a timeshare salesman for RCI.