Boxer Danny Kelly Jr, who held a professional record of 10-3-1 including a fight with Adam Kownacki, was shot dead on Christmas Eve in Maryland, USA.
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Professional boxer Danny Kelly Jr was killed in front of his girlfriend and three children on Christmas Eve.
Authorities in Maryland, where the event took place, are currently seeking more information about the shooting, which is considered a possible road rage incident.
The 30-year-old boxer, who held a professional record of 10-3-1, was driving his family to a pre-Christmas dinner when he was fatally shot in the Temple Hills, Maryland area.
Kelly Jr was killed at around 4:40 p.m. on Christmas Friday night, with his girlfriend in the car as well as his children aged 4, 7 and 9.
“Patrol officers have been called to the 4400 block of St. Barnabas Road in Temple Hills,” the Prince George’s County Police Department said.
“They discovered Kelly unresponsive in the driver’s seat of an SUV with gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead a short time later in a hospital.
“Initially, it appears the suspect’s vehicle pulled up next to Kelly’s SUV and someone inside opened fire – no one else in Kelly’s SUV was injured.
“At this time, detectives are investigating whether this was possibly road rage. Detectives are working to identify the suspect and the suspect vehicle.”
Kelly’s biggest fight of his professional career was against Adam Kownacki, to whom he lost the unanimous decision at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The pair fought under the card of Deontay Wilder’s world title defense against Artur Szpilka in 2016, who was famous for first meeting in the ring with Wilder and Tyson Fury.
The motivation for the murder has yet to be officially confirmed, with police still looking for leads.
“This is an absolutely heartbreaking loss for Mr. Kelly’s family and friends,” police said.
“He is not home with his loved ones today at Christmas who are now mourning his loss instead of celebrating the holiday.”
And his family explained how he would be remembered, with his cousin saying the killer took “a big part of his heart”.
“I still can’t believe he won’t answer my call,” Kelly’s younger cousin Brian told local news station WUSA9. “Which is crazy because I was just with him.
“You [the shooter] really took a big piece of my heart that I thought I never had.
“I swear you crushed me.”
And his godmother Bernadine Walker expanded on the thought, saying he was a fantastic father to his three children.
“He was a wonderful father,” she told the news channel. “He loved his babies.
“He loved his children.”