In the long-awaited fight between the pair, following several postponements, the Russian proved his class, operating as a sniper inside the ring at a deserted Wembley Arena.
The comprehensive victory should propel Avanesyan towards a deserved world title shot in one of boxing’s most competitive divisions, with his vicious intent, often hidden behind a grin in the build-up, revealed after the first bell.
Kelly, visibly larger than the champion at the weight, delivered a beautifully left hook in the second to stun his opponent and bring the fight to life.
But Avanesyan snapped out of his brief daze before the end of the round, with Kelly given a cruel insight to just how quickly momentum can swing in championship boxing.
Before he could even regroup in his corner, crimson swiftly trickled down Kelly’s neck, with Avanesyan gleefully accepting the challenge to trade leather, perhaps affirming his own “premonition”, after so much conviction from the Briton in recent weeks that this was his time.