On Tuesday, November 10, fight fans will be treated to a free-to-view boxing event when Ultimate Boxxer 7 lands on BT Sport and ITV 4 screens, live from 8pm.
The one-night, winner-takes-all knockout tournament takes place behind closed doors at the BT Sport Studios in Stratford, London.
The six-fight card's centrepiece is in the super-middleweight division as four participants will first clash in three-round semi-final matches, with the winners then squaring off soon after for a five-round final to determine which of them walks away with the prize money and The Golden Robe.
BBN have introduced the four 168lbs semi-finalists and previewed the undercard fights below:
Record: 7-1-1, 3KOs
Best win: Umar Sadiq PTS 77-74
Titles: Southern Area super-middleweight title
BoxRec Ranking: 16
Joint youngest in the tournament at 22, but highest rated, Chelli is coming into the competition with the worst form on paper, but that is only because of the higher level he has been operating at.
In his last appearance, live on Sky Sports, he was cruelly denied a win against ex-English champion Jack Cullen, instead having to settle for a draw after largely dominating the 10-round super-middleweight contest.
The university student from Fulham shot to stardom when he defeated top amateur champion Umar Sadiq in his fifth fight, and soon won his first title – Southern Area super-middleweight – in his seventh contest, after just two years as a pro.
His first and only defeat came at the hands of highly rated Welshman Kody Davies (10-1, 3KOs) in his second to last fight despite decking him in the second stanza with a sweet uppercut. The 10-round contest was a British title eliminator.
As an amateur, Chelli won two national titles for Dale Youth ABC, where both James DeGale and George Groves started out. His father was a pro boxer before him – Zak Snr – and he first laced up a pair of boxing gloves at the age of five!
He’s hungry for the win, especially after not winning in either of his last fights, and will want to propel himself into a big fight rematch with Cullen, back on Sky Sports again as soon as he can.
Best win: Lewis van Poetsch PTS 40-37
BoxRec Ranking: 48
From Maghull, Liverpool, 25-year-old Woods was an England amateur representative, with an impressive 26 wins from 32 bouts.
He is part of the UK’s most talented gym at the Everton Red Triangle in Liverpool under coach Paul Stevenson, who also trains and manages seven other unbeaten prospects, three of which are signed to Frank Warren’s promotional stable – Nick Ball (13-0, 6KOs), Andrew Cain (6-0, 6KOs), and Brad Strand (4-0, 1KO).
The talent-laden gym has an average age of around 24, but the youngsters are all consummate professionals with a maturity beyond their years. Woods stayed fit and ready regardless of writing off 2020 and realistically believing he wouldn’t fight again until next year.
The phone call came less than two weeks before fight night but he was fit and ready and accepted without hesitation.
Coming from a top gym, with a fantastic trainer, surrounded by the country’s best young prospects with daily sparring available, Woods is primed to emerge from the shadows and take this opportunity with both hands.
Record: 6-0, 2KOs
Best win: Harry Matthews TKO2
BoxRec Ranking: 39
Cumbria’s Mike McGoldrick is unbeaten in six and comes in on the back of a fantastic TKO victory over English title contender Harry Matthews (16-47-3, 2KOs).
The 35-year-old raced to 6-0 within just 21 months, but hasn’t fought at all this year.
His ambitions aren’t set very high, stating that he wants to win the Central Area title and anything beyond that is a bonus. His father was an amateur boxer for a long time, so it was natural for him to follow suit, and he first started boxing aged 10. Despite starting so early, he didn’t have a huge amount of bouts and claims to have won half, lost half.
It’s a great platform for the Johnny Rowe-trained super-middleweight, who spars with former English light-heavyweight champion Liam Conroy regularly. His record is arguably the best on paper.
Best win: Kevin McCauley PTS 40-36
BoxRec Ranking: 56
Trained by Kieran Farrell, this up-and-coming 22-year-old from Bury turned pro in 2018 and is undefeated in three pro fights with 12 rounds in the bag.
Ridings is the youngest competitor and being an unknown quantity means he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
As an amateur, he won nine from 10 bouts, the only loss was to Mark Jeffers, who is now 11-0 as a pro and the current Central Area super-middleweight champion.
Ridings aims to pull off the biggest shock of the night by winning the competition to then challenge Jeffers to a rematch for his Central Area strap next.
It's a little hard to predict when you don't know who will fight who yet. It depends on how they line up, but Zak Chelli is the favourite for good reason. He has already proven he can mix it at the top level in Britain and is the only one from the fledgling quartet to win a professional title. His experience fighting live on Sky Sports and BT Sport – his last three fights were all televised – gives him a huge advantage over the others, such as Harry Woods who hasn't yet fought in front of the cameras.
Despite this disadvantage, Woods is the one from the pack who shows a great deal of promise and could be the dark horse of the competition. He only accepted the invitation to join UB7 with 10 days notice, but he was fit and ready to fight regardless of the late call-up. He has had exceptional sparring with unbeaten Commonwealth super-welterweight champion JJ Metcalf (21-0, 13KOs) as well as the unbeaten prospects from his own gym. His trainer Paul Stevenson is a boxing mastermind and will provide Woods with the best game plan and mindset to stand a very good chance of winning the tournament.
If you want to play it safe, bet on Chelli, but if you want to play a wild card, bet on Harry Woods!
Mikael Lawal vs Ossie Jervier
6x3 Cruiserweight contest
UB4 winner Mikael Lawal (12-0, 7KOs) gets a tough test against a Southern Area title contender in Ossie Jervier (6-13, 5KOs).
The Nigerian-born Londoner is ranked sixth in the UK and officially signed with brand-new promotional company BOXXER in August.
The 25-year-old from Shepherds Bush won the cruiserweight tournament last July producing a stunning first-round KO over unbeaten Damian Chambers (11-1, 7KOs), who has gone on to become Central Area cruiserweight champion. He dropped every single opponent in the tournament and saved his very best punch of the night for the final.
He is very heavy-handed and improving with every fight. It’s difficult to tell, at this stage, how far he can go, but he should get another win on his record against 39-year-old Londoner Jervier, who hasn’t won in any of his last eight fights.
Derrick Osaze vs John Telford
6x3 Middleweight contest
Another Ultimate Boxxer winner appears on the card, who is also testing himself against an Area champion too.
Derrick Osaze (10-0, 2KOs), known as ‘The Puncing Preacher’ from Nottingham because he is an ordained minister, goes up against Manchester’s John Telford (11-2-1, 2KOs), a Central Area title contender.
Telford has more wins on his record than Osaze, but the 27-year-old Peckham-born puncher has already beaten five other foes who could boast that same advantage, and he handled them all.
His triumph in Ultimate Boxxer 3 was over three fighters with a combined record of 34-2. He hasn’t put a foot wrong during his approaching three-year career.
However, his opponent’s only two defeats have come at the hands of Central Area champions and has reeled off two consecutive wins since his latest loss.
Osaze will not underestimate his opponent but should also be able to outbox him towards another points victory.
Florian Marku vs Muma Mweemba
6x3 Welterweight contest
Albanian welterweight talent Florian Marku (6-0, 4KOs) faces his fifth winning fighter in a row.
Trained by Stefy Bull, Muma Mweemba (4-1, 2KOs), known as ‘Bruiser’ from Sheffield, won his first four fights but was defeated on points in his first six-rounder way back in September 2018 and didn’t fight again until now. A knockdown in the final round cost the 32-year-old the decision on the cards.
Aside from that, his career had been going perfectly, with two shutout points victories and two stoppages.
Albanian-born Londoner, Marku, known as ‘TNT’ for his explosive power reeled off four knockout wins in a row during the first eight months of his career, then scored two consecutive six-round points decisions – both scored at 60-55 – in September and December 2019.
Mweemba’s inactivity and tendency to be hit could see the Albanian superstar get back to stopping opponents, which he will be eager to do having had six fights in 12 busy months, then nothing for the following 11 months.