Fulham fighter Zak Chelli is on course for a second National Youth Championships title after he beat the toughest boxer in the competition.
Such is the draw in what used to be the Junior ABA Championships, the 17-year-old, born in Hammersmith, faced off seven-times champion Jimmy Smith in the 75kgs London round.
The Repton BC boxer had never been beaten. But Chelli having moved up an age group from last year’s win, made sure he killed that terrific record.
The former Dale Youth BC boxer took control in the second round, making good use of the jab and throwing a series of fast left hooks.
Smith was unable to handle the speed of the west Londoner’s punches and Chelli dug in during the final round, moving well around the ring to seal victory.
Chelli moves to Times BC where his dad is a coach in June last year, and the Islington club’s head coach Dave Ryan added: “It was a real feather in his cap – one of the best results ever from a Times boy. We couldn’t have asked for any more.”
Dale had not forgotten their protege, as Chelli noted with some delight.
“I had my club but also all the Dale Youth team including (coach) Gary McGuinness, all shouting advice and supporting me through all the match. I am very happy as my hard work has finally paid off.”
There was also a win for Daniel Dubois from Dale in North Kensington at 91kgs, who also goes for his second title in a row at the three-day quarter, semi and final to be held in Ferryhill, county Durham.