Ultimate Boxxer returns tomorrow with another tournament this time in the super middleweight division. The four man tournament features unbeaten trio Ben Ridings, Harry Woods and Mike McGoldrick as well as the bookies favourite, former Southern Area super middleweight champion Zak Chelli.
As well as this former tournament winners Mikael Lawal (cruiserweight) and Derrick Osaze (middleweight) return in scheduled six round contests, along with popular Ultimate Boxxer favourite Florian Marku ending his near year long layoff.
How to watch
The promotions seventh event takes place behind closed doors at the BT Sport Studios and is available live and free on both BT Sport and ITV 4 from 8PM, making its terrestrial TV debut.
Semi Final one
The first semi final sees the most experienced competitor in the competition square off against the least experienced in Zak Chelli (7-1-1, 3 KO’s) vs Ben Ridings (3-0, 0 KO’s).
Chelli has experience beyond his years having already fought on both Queensbury and Matchroom cards at only 22 years of age, and has already challenged himself against some of the premier talents on the domestic scene at 168 lbs. His only career loss so far came at light heavyweight to Kody Davies, dropping Davies in the second round on route to a decision loss.
The Fulham born contender holds wins over Jimmy Smith and a particularly impressive win over Umar Sadiq, who recently gave former world champion Fedor Chudinov all he could handle for 12 rounds. In his last outing Chelli was held to a split draw on Matchroom’s ‘Fight Camp’ series, in a controversial contest with Jack Cullen in which many people felt the Southerner deserved the nod.
Ridings on the other hand is a three fight novice taking his first meaningful step up very early on in his career, something that must be applauded in the current age of padded records. The fellow 22 year old made his professional debut in September 2018 and has since gone on to drop only a single round on his way to three unanimous decision wins over respected journeymen in Lewis Van Poetsch, Zygimantas Butkevicius and Kevin McCauley.
Despite his young age and lack of experience, the Kieran Farrell trained Bury man could be on course to cause one of the biggest upsets Ultimate Boxxer has ever seen and catapult his way into the British title mix in 2021. But the smart money is probably on Chelli to outclass Ridings and possibly force a stoppage.
Semi final two
In the second semi final someone’s ‘0’ has got to go as unbeaten pair Mike McGoldrick (6-0, 2 KO’s) and Harry Woods (4-0, 0 KO’s) clash. The 35 year old McGoldrick is by some way the oldest man in the competition and was only given the call up after Brazilian Diego Costa was forced to withdraw.
Having campaigned at light heavyweight for the entirety of his professional career thus far, McGoldrick will have to navigate his way around a potentially tricky weight cut, perhaps made even more difficult by his late entry.
Having won his first four fights via decision, McGoldrick is on a two fight KO streak having stopped Jevgenijs Andrejevs and Harry Matthews in the second and fifth round respectively. While he may possess the most impressive record on paper, it may be worthwhile considering he has yet to face anyone with a winning record.
Scouser Harry Woods is another late replacement agreeing to step in on just two weeks notice. Training out of the prestigious Everton Red Triangle Gym under the tutelage of Paul Stevenson, Woods is one of a number of hot unbeaten prospects coming out of the gym, along with Nick Ball (13-0, 6 KO’s), Andrew Cain (6-0, 6 KO’s) and Carly Skelly (3-0-1, 0 KO’s) to name just a few.
Having enjoyed a successful amateur career that saw him reach the latter stages of the ABA’s and represent England, Woods turned over last March and has been flawless in four decision victories. The 25 year olds youth and greater pedigree may prove the deciding factor in what should be an interesting encounter.
The undercard sees undefeated former Ultimate Boxxer winners Mikael Lawal (12-0, 7 KO’s) and Derrick Osaze (10-0, 2 KO’s) fight for the first time in 2020 in what should prove to be fairly comfortable tick over jobs in Ossie Jervier (6-13, 5 KO’s) and John Telford (11-2-1, 2 KO’s) respectively.
Both will be hoping to push on towards British title level next year and may need to bank some rounds after long periods of inactivity.
Also on the card Albania’s Florian Marku (6-0, 4 KO’s) gets out for the first time this year as he faces Muma Mweemba (4-1, 2 KO’s) in a six round contest. The popular Albanian is managed by Sam Jones and has made a name for himself mainly due to his fanatical Albanian fan base, this being his third appearance on an Ultimate Boxxer card.
The 28 year old called out Conor Benn over the summer, briefly being linked with a fight with the British contender that never came off, if he keeps piling up the wins though who knows where Florian Markus may find himself in a years time.