Exclusive: I Might Not Leave It To The Judges, I’ll Settle The Score Myself!”
Zak Chelli (14-2-1) will square off once more with the current British and Commonwealth champion Jack Cullen (22-4-1), in a much-anticipated rematch on an already explosive card on January 20th. The rematch comes after their thrilling contest in 2020 ended in a draw. Believing he had won the first fight, Chelli believes that this is his opportunity to set the record straight once and for all.
“Of course, I believe I won. One of the judges gave me I think 8 of the 10 rounds and many people online said I won 8 of the 10 rounds…I even got messages from Eddie Hearn after the fight telling me I won,” said Zak in media reports.
With the first fight being behind closed doors and this one being in a sold-out M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, it is sure to provide a different fight entirely this time around.
Chelli’s preparation has seen him sparring with former world champion Callum Smith, recently edged out by the IBF, WBO and WBC light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev. Zak says this improved camp could not have gone better and he believes he will do enough to beat Little Leaver’s Meat Cleaver possibly before the judges have a chance to pass their verdict.
“I know Jack Cullen better…I believe I took the last fight on 3 weeks’ notice and this time I have a better camp, better sparring quality and I’ve fought him before and I know what to do with him,” added Zak. While not forgetting the draw in 2020, Zak says boxing politics may have influenced the last fight.
“I know there’s politics in boxing, this time I hope and I pray politics can stay out, but I might not leave it to the judges, I’ll settle the score myself.” Chelli ends his summary of his latest camp simply with “I’m ready for it”.
A victory will see Chelli take the British and Commonwealth belts for his own. Despite the belts being on the line, the challenger isn’t feeling the pressure and if anything, relishes the opportunity to showcase his talent in championship rounds.
“I remember with the 10 rounds in the previous fight…I still had stuff in the tank to give so I’m really happy this is a 12-round championship fight,” Zak said.
“Growing up as boxers, most pros dream of having a British and Commonwealth title…just winning it is like accomplishing half of your career and you’re halfway there to a world title. I know how much I want this and I just want to show people there on the night how much this means to me,” he added.
If all goes to plan and the challenger takes both belts, there’s a gateway to the world stage. However, with the domestic super-middleweight division currently thriving he eyes potential future fights in the UK. Chelli confirmed he has considered a potential fight with Callum Simpson and a rematch with Mark Jeffers, but despite any speculation, Zak says right this minute he can’t be looking past the fight on January 20th.
“The world’s my oyster..winning the British title will prove I can go 12 rounds and my management will set the right path for me so I can focus on my boxing and training,” he said.
“Honestly I believe Simpson is an easier fight than Cullen, but I’m not going to look past Cullen, I’m going to focus on Cullen now and ask me again once I beat him,” he added.
The fight comes on the undercard of Natasha Jonas’ IBF welterweight title defense against former unified world champion Mikaela Mayer. With her home crowd behind her, Chelli believes Jonas will do enough to retain her title.
(Additional reporting provided by Joseph Hammond)
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