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Chelli brothers leave Dale Youth to join Times ABC

PUBLISHED: 12:08 26 June 2014 | UPDATED: 12:08 26 June 2014

Times ABC head coach Dave Ryan with new arrivals Zak Chelli (left) and Yahia Chelli

Times ABC head coach Dave Ryan with new arrivals Zak Chelli (left) and Yahia Chelli

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Times ABC head coach Dave Ryan hopes the arrival of two national champions can spearhead a transformation of the Kings Cross club’s fortunes.

Zak Chelli, a double England Elite middleweight champion, and his younger brother Yahia, who won the junior light-middleweight title last year, have both joined Times after leaving Dale Youth ABC.

The move is something of a coup for Times, who have endured a quiet few years since they lost the likes of George Kean, Charlie Rice, Marlon Mellish and Brett Callaghan to the professional ranks.

But Ryan, who has been involved with the York Way club for more than 40 years, is confident that more youngsters will follow the path paved by the Chelli brothers.

“Usually things slacken off during the summer months, but the gym’s full every night now,” Ryan told the Gazette. “A lot of boys are coming in because they want to spar with Zak and Yahia.

“The sparring’s spectacular – everyone stops to watch them and it’s good to have them here. We want to progress and I think they’ll make this club a lot better.

“All our seniors went pro and once your seniors are gone you can’t put a show on. Now we’ll be looking for five shows next year to get back up to where we used to be.

“We need to give the boys a gym that’s suitable for their level of boxing and we’re aiming to have a refit in the summer. But all the training and travelling costs have to be paid as well so we’re trying to get sponsorship for them.”

Eighteen-year-old Zak, who is also a Three Nations champion, has been called up to the Team GB emerging talent camp which takes place in Sheffield early next month.

Yahia, 16, will be moving up to senior level next season, when the former Dale Youth pair are expected to make their competitive debuts in a Times vest.

Anyone who can help the club with sponsorship should write to Dave Ryan at Times ABC, 1st Floor, Community Hall Tiber Gardens, York Way, London N1 0XF.

Times ABC’s Serena Fox collected a gold medal at the Haringey Box Cup last weekend with a spirited performance against Marnie Swindells (Double Jab ABC).

Fox was forced to miss out on the tournament last year after the death of her grandfather in Australia, but made amends this time in the Class C Under-69kg final at Alexandra Palace.

The opening two rounds were fairly even, but the Times girl stepped up a gear in the last round and unleashed a flurry of punches that earned her the decision – and also a first title for coach Tony Lucas.

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