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Chelli snatches his ‘time to shine’ with both hands

PUBLISHED: 10:02 02 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:02 02 March 2017

Former Times ABC boxer Zak Chelli made a winning start to his professional career at Bethnal Green's York Hall. Picture: NATALIE MAYHEW BUTTERFLY BOXING

Former Times ABC boxer Zak Chelli made a winning start to his professional career at Bethnal Green's York Hall. Picture: NATALIE MAYHEW BUTTERFLY BOXING

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Former Times ABC member Zak Chelli made a stunning start to his professional career with a third round stoppage of Jacob Lucas.

Former Times ABC boxer Zak Chelli made a winning start to his professional career at Bethnal Green's York Hall. Picture: NATALIE MAYHEW BUTTERFLY BOXINGFormer Times ABC boxer Zak Chelli made a winning start to his professional career at Bethnal Green's York Hall. Picture: NATALIE MAYHEW BUTTERFLY BOXING

The 19-year-old hurt his opponent from Wiltshire with a right hand in the opening seconds of the fight on Friday night at the York Hall in Bethnal Green and dropped him to the canvas in round two.

A cut over the left eye brought a stoppage in round three and the award of the match and Chelli was naturally delighted with how things went.

He told the Gazette: “I was very happy with the fight, especially as it was my debut. There were a few things I could have done better but it went well.

“I was usually more nervous in my amateur fights but I felt good going in and trusted my abilities.

Former Times ABC boxer Zak Chelli made a winning start to his professional career at Bethnal Green's York Hall. Picture: NATALIE MAYHEW BUTTERFLY BOXINGFormer Times ABC boxer Zak Chelli made a winning start to his professional career at Bethnal Green's York Hall. Picture: NATALIE MAYHEW BUTTERFLY BOXING

“The crowd were amazing and just increased my confidence. I really fed off the atmosphere.

“He was a tough kid and no doubt put in there to test me but I knew this was my time to shine.

“Stopping him was something I felt I could do. I knew I had the power and to do it on my pro debut was pleasing.”

Chelli is primed for big things having been signed to Frank Warren’s stable of fighters.

And the manner of this first victory will not have deterred those hopes. And he obviously impressed his new mentor.

He said: “My manager received a message from Frank Warren personally sending his congratulations. You usually don’t get that sort of exposure on your debut.”

But there was no time for Chelli, who is already looking towards a Southern Area fight in the very near future, to rest on his laurels and he was back in the gym on Saturday ahead of a stunnig possible next bout.

He revealed he is being lined up for a spot on the Josh Warrington/Nicola Adams bill, to be held at the 13,000 First Direct Arena in Leeds on May 13.

And after receiving a boost from the York Hall crowd, he is already excited by what that sized crowd will make him do.

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