Two fighters throwing punches in a boxing ring

Fulham boxer moves step closer to major title

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Image captionZak Chelli in the ring. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Fulham prizefighter Zak Chelli has not let the pandemic halt his title aspirations.

The super-middleweight contender moved a step closer to a major domestic belt after winning the Ultimate Boxxer tournament.

The 12st pugilist, whose entrance music is the 80s classic hit ‘I’ve Got the Power’, proved just that with a knockout victory over Mike McGoldrick in the final of the last man standing tournament.

It involved two bouts over one night with Chelli securing a comfortable points victory in his first fight against Vladimir Georgiev over three rounds before a clinical second-round knockout win in the final.

“With all respect to the other fighters in the tournament, I’ve had harder runs,” said the 22-year-old.

“I want a shot at one of the domestic titles now. I’m ready to fight anyone. I want to prove to everyone that I am the number one super-middleweight in the country.”

Zak Chelli in the boxing ring with arm aloft in victory
Image caption: Super-middleweight contender Zak Chelli. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Zak, who grew up in Fulham, regularly goes on 4am runs as part of his pre-fight training routine after being woken up by his father and coach, Zak Senior, who was also a professional boxer.

“My dad is there pulling off the sheets to make sure I go for my early morning run,” laughed Chelli. “All jokes aside, my dad has been training me since I was five years old. He used to make me run home from school as part of my training and would cycle along the route shouting ‘Come on champ’. We’ve made our way from the amateur game to the pro ranks together. Together we now aim to make it to the top of the super-middleweight division.”

Chelli went into the tournament coming off a controversial points draw against Jack Cullen in August which most boxing pundits felt the Fulham fighter deserved to win.

Cullen is now in line for the British crown after his recent win over John Docherty, and Chelli is keen to get back in the ring against Cullen to avenge the ‘W’ which he feels was robbed from him.

“Everyone knows including Jack [Cullen] that I beat him. It’s just a matter of time before we face each other again in the ring. Next time I won’t leave it to the judges to decide,” added Chelli.

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