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Zak Chelli on Boxxer: "I am here to win and make a name for myself"

Fulham’s Super-middleweight, Zak Chelli is looking to push for a title after the setback of a controversial draw in his last outing.

In August, Chelli put on an impressive performance against the English middleweight champion Jack Cullen, 26, at Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Fight Camp, and the general consensus is that he was unlucky to come away with only a draw, something which Chelli reflected on

“I do believe I won that fight, and the public believes I beat him. They knew I won, and even Eddie Hearn messaged me after the fight telling me he thought I had won, but the people know I won and that’s what matters.”

Despite the controversial result, Cullen is scheduled to fight John Docherty, 23, in an eliminator for the British Super Middleweight title, on the 14th November, a development which has been a further disappointment to Chelli.

He said: “Of course I was disappointed because I believe it should be me going in for the British title eliminator because I do believe I beat Jack Cullen easily, but I wish him the best of luck, and if he wins, then it just shows how good I am”

Chelli, who previously held the Southern Area title, is looking to push himself on for further titles; he was touted for a potential rematch with Cullen, or was considered likely to participate in a contest against another opponent on one of the upcoming Matchroom shows, but as the option to make a name for himself presented itself in the form of Boxxer, he made the immediate decision to instead grasp that opportunity.

“I was called by Eddie [Hearn] who stated he was looking to put on the rematch between me and Cullen, or advised me that he would get me on a future show for a title fight, but I didn’t want to wait around for that to happen, and when I got the call to enter this tournament, I said yes in a heartbeat."

Chelli is the bookies favourite for the tournament, which will be held in the BT Sport studio in Stratford.

The knockout style of the tournament has become a hit with fight fans since its introduction, and it will feature two semi-finals and a final.

Chelli explained: “I am an explosive fighter so the format of the tournament is something I will flourish in. Having been an amateur, there have been many occasions where I have fought more than once in a day, so the fact I have to fight twice on one night doesn’t bother me.”

Chelli will compete against Ben Ridings (3-0-0), 22, Mike McGoldrick (6-0-0, 2 KO’s), 35, and Harry Woods (4-0-0), 25, and although the fights have not yet been matched, he is confident.

“What I have learnt is that rather than looking at what the opponents do, I work on myself, and then use what I have learnt on the opponents in the ring. I don’t find it beneficial to study every opponent's previous fights because it's more than likely that they will fight differently against you.”

“I’ve watched these tournaments and there’s usually a lot of knockouts because everyone gives all they have within the three rounds and they usually let their defences down; they let mistakes go through and that’s how people get dropped. So that’s what I’ll be looking for­ – a few mistakes and to drop some people."

The tournament will take place without an audience because of the continued Covid-19 restrictions, but Chelli has already fought without an audience on Matchroom's August's fight Camp bill. Because of the magnitude of that event, it didn’t really affect how he felt, whereas this time around it is a little different.

He added: “You have got local fighters all going up against each who would normally have very passionate fans in the crowd so it will be a shame not to have that atmosphere, but once I am in the ring I don’t think about the crowds. It's only afterwards when you hear the cheers of victory, that's it.

"I am just here to win and to make a name for myself."

Included on the undercard is two former winners of the tournament Mikael Lawal & Derrick Osaze, as well as the all-action "Albanian King" Florian Marku


Date: November 10th 2020

Time: 20:00

Venue: BT Sport Studio, Stratford

Where to watch: BT Sport and ITV 4


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