UMAR SADIQ only affords his next opponent, Zak Chelli, a puncher’s chance when the two unbeaten super middleweights come together in what should be a fascinating match-up at the Brentwood Centre next Saturday (October 20).
Sadiq suspects a heavy punch is the only weapon of note in the Chelli armoury and dealing with a puncher is something he is well equipped to withstand.
“He is very explosive and a good challenge but I had 45 amateur fights and 36 of those were at elite level,” reasoned the 30-year-old with three professional fights under his belt.
“So I am used to going in there with guys who are national champions, county champions or champions from other countries – and many of them could whack.
“So the fact that he can whack doesn’t intimidate me, especially because I am sparring cruiserweights and light heavyweights on a regular basis. I also believe I am much better than him.
“Although on paper it looks a 50-50 fight and a dangerous one, in reality I think taking away his power, it is actually just another learning fight for me.”
While each boxer will bring a completely contrasting style of fighting into the ring, live on BT Sport, Sadiq believes the clash could well provide compelling viewing.
“I don’t know, it could be awkward, but they could also gel really well. He is a brawler and I am a boxer-puncher and it can end up gelling well. Archie Sharp and Lyon Woodstock gelled really well last weekend and Archie is a boxer-puncher, while Lyon in that fight was seemingly a brawler.
“Hopefully we will get another great fight for the fans on BT Sport.
“The truth is I rate him as a puncher and that’s where it stops,” added the Ilford man, who goes along with the thought process that Chelli will stalk him with the aim of knocking his block off.
“I believe so. I saw an interview where he was saying he can box long and all that, but he could never ever try to outbox me. That is a fact and he knows that, regardless of who he is trying to fool.
“His only hope is going to try and brawl – and I am ready for that.”
ZAK CHELLI SAYS it was his desire to be considered Frank Warren’s super middleweight priority that prompted his wish to take on fellow prospect Umar Sadiq at the Brentwood Centre on October 20.
The pair get it on in a battle of the unbeatens, live on BT Sport, on a card headed by Anthony Yarde taking on Walter Gabriel Sequeira, while Gary Corcoran and Johnny Garton compete for the vacant British welterweight title.
Chelli, just 20, is a young man on a mission and in no mood to take the slow lane towards major title contention. Just four fights in, he is ready to take on a 6ft 3″ stylist who is ten years his senior. Not only that, he asked for the fight as soon as he got wind of a divisional rival from Ilford.
“Basically, I’ve always wanted to step up and I’ve actually wanted to fight him from when I first heard about him,” revealed the Fulham banger. “I knew Frank Warren had another super middleweight and I wanted to be the only one in the category when I started off.
“I thought he was taking my fights!
“I called the matchmaker and said I was crying out to prove I am better than him, but he said it was too early and he was not ready for this fight, bla, bla.
“Then, a couple of months later, I got the call to say he wants to fight and I was like ‘ok, I accept it’.
“So hopefully after this fight I will be the priority and the only super middleweight Frank Warren has.”
Chelli added that the age difference doesn’t matter in this fight because, as far as he is concerned, age doesn’t equate to experience for Sadiq, who he believes still retains amateur habits.
“I was surprised to find he is 30 years old and just starting his career now. I think his prime was when he was in the amateurs, so maybe he has got a bit worse now.
“Style-wise he is pretty basic and very amateur – tall, long, flicks the jab in and out, nothing special…
“I’ve sparred many amateurs and I know how to go under a jab and duck a lot, so I know what to do.”
Anthony Yarde will be headlining the Brentwood Centre on October 20th when he faces Argentinian Walter Gabriel Sequeira. World title challenger Gary Corcoran and ‘The Pexican’ Johnny Garton will contest the vacant British welterweight title. Zak Chelli and Umar Sadiq will both be putting their young, undefeated records on the line in a super-middleweight contest. Heavyweight Nathan Gorman will also feature on the show televised live on BT Sport.
Tickets are priced at £40, £100, £150 and are available to purchase from Ticketmaster.