ZAK CHELLI SAYS it was his desire to be considered Frank Warren's super middleweight priority that prompted his wish to take on fellow prospect Umar Sadiq at the Brentwood Centre on October 20.
The pair get it on in a battle of the unbeatens, live on BT Sport, on a card headed by Anthony Yarde taking on Walter Gabriel Sequeira, while Gary Corcoran and Johnny Garton compete for the vacant British welterweight title.
Chelli, just 20, is a young man on a mission and in no mood to take the slow lane towards major title contention. Just four fights in, he is ready to take on a 6ft 3" stylist who is ten years his senior. Not only that, he asked for the fight as soon as he got wind of a divisional rival from Ilford.
"Basically, I've always wanted to step up and I've actually wanted to fight him from when I first heard about him," revealed the Fulham banger. "I knew Frank Warren had another super middleweight and I wanted to be the only one in the category when I started off.
"I thought he was taking my fights!
"I called the matchmaker and said I was crying out to prove I am better than him, but he said it was too early and he was not ready for this fight, bla, bla.
"Then, a couple of months later, I got the call to say he wants to fight and I was like 'ok, I accept it'.
"So hopefully after this fight I will be the priority and the only super middleweight Frank Warren has."
Chelli added that the age difference doesn't matter in this fight because, as far as he is concerned, age doesn't equate to experience for Sadiq, who he believes still retains amateur habits.
"I was surprised to find he is 30 years old and just starting his career now. I think his prime was when he was in the amateurs, so maybe he has got a bit worse now.
"Style-wise he is pretty basic and very amateur - tall, long, flicks the jab in and out, nothing special…
"I've sparred many amateurs and I know how to go under a jab and duck a lot, so I know what to do."
Anthony Yarde will be headlining the Brentwood Centre on October 20th when he faces Argentinian Walter Gabriel Sequeira. World title challenger Gary Corcoran and ‘The Pexican’ Johnny Garton will contest the vacant British welterweight title. Zak Chelli and Umar Sadiq will both be putting their young, undefeated records on the line in a super-middleweight contest. Heavyweight Nathan Gorman will also feature on the show televised live on BT Sport.
The last time Loua Nassa shared top billing on live TV, he suffered a painful KO defeat. The 22-year-old gets a shot at redemption on October 12 though at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena, when he takes on Tanzania’s Nasibu Ramadhan, 25-12-2 (13), live on Freesports (Freeview 95, Freesat 252, Sky 422, BT 95, Talk Talk 95, Virgin 553).
It was at the same venue in February, again live on Freesports, that Nassa, 11-1, suffered his only pro loss. The ‘Steel City’ fighter was challenging Brad Watson for the Guernsey man’s English Super Flyweight belt but, despite bossing the early rounds, ran out of steam and was stopped in the final tenth round.
Determined that this time his TV exposure will lead to a different outcome, Loua says that he will not only beat his African opponent in their Commonwealth Bantamweight Title eliminator, but is planning to end proceedings early.
“I don’t see the Brad Watson fight as a loss, and I learned a lot from it,” explained Nassa, who is one of five fighting siblings. “I feel like everything happens for a reason and maybe it was meant to happen. I’m just really excited to come back, and come back stronger. I feel more mature and can’t wait to get out there and win again.
“When I’ve watched the Watson fight back, it’s hard, but I feel like I lost the fight because of me, not because he was better than me. I let emotions take over and I was maybe a bit too light and weak at the weight. I’ve learned my lessons though. This fight, I’ve righted the wrongs and it’s like redemption for me.
“Ramadhan is an experienced fighter and he’s going to be a tough opponent who will come to win, but I’m going to knock him out. I really feel like I’m going to stop him and this will be the fight that puts me back into the mix.
“I’m very excited and can’t wait to get in there. I want to get my first win on TV and show everyone what I can do. I trust in Dennis [Hobson] and know he’ll get me the title shots. After this fight, winning will elevate me and will allow me to fight for other titles, even if it’s not the Commonwealth.”
Manager Dennis Hobson stated: “There aren’t many fighters that don’t lose, but it’s all about how you come back from a loss. I have faith in Loua and still believe he can go onto bigger things. This is an important fight for him, and getting a shot at the Commonwealth Title will be a big step, because it’s a meaningful belt that can move fighters onto the international stage.
“This is going to be another great night of boxing. We’ve continually produced the goods for the Freesports viewers, the feedback we’ve had on the shows we’ve worked on so far has been excellent, and I’m expecting Loua’s fight, as well as Tommy Frank who is also topping the bill, to be tremendous TV viewing again.”
Dennis Hobson Promotions present an evening of boxing at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena on October 12. Topping the bill will be Sheffield’s Tommy Frank and Loua Nassa in Commonwealth Title eliminators. The undercard will feature Sheffield fighters Dan West; Kane Salvin; Keenan Wainwright; Sufyaan Ahmed; Mohammed Alqotaibi, and Hakeem Nassa. Also appearing will be Manchester’s Michael Gomez Jr, and Buxton’s Irvin Mango.
For ticket information, call 0114 243 4443.
The show will be televised live on Freesports (Freeview 95, Freesat 252, Sky 422, BT 95, Talk Talk 95, Virgin 553).
Johnney Roye has moved the MTK Manchester gym to a fantastic facility in an old school building in Preston with improved access for nearby schools and the local community.
The new gym – located at The Presbytery, Lostock Hall, 17a Brownedge Rd, Lostock Hall, Preston PR5 5AA – will open on November 1 and Roye is delighted by the prospect of increased access for young fighters.
Roye said: “I’m absolutely made up. This is the first time we’ve been able to achieve a position between various estates and schools in order to serve the community better. The passing trade is going to take off.
“There are so many improvements because of the size of the building. There will be women’s-only boxing classes and our mini-Mayweather classes for the youngsters, who will now be starting at just five years of age rather than the previous starting age of 10.
“This area we live in is full of talent and there are so many kids in our surrounding area who do not have enough to do because of the closure of various youth clubs in the area. This will be vital for them.
“With this move, we’ll see an increase in the amounts of students with kids from all kinds of backgrounds. There’ll be some real talent coming through. We’ve been doing really well but now we’re going to be doing even better.
“Under the banner of MTK Global, we’re going to be a lot more productive in the community, helping people and achieve better results because of it.”
Roye himself – a former British, European, Commonwealth and world kickboxing champion – began boxing at the age of seven at Sale ABC.