Boxing

Army Boxer Wins First Professional Match At O2 Arena

Lance Corporal Chez Nihell was fighting on the James De Gale-Chris Eubank Jr undercard.

WATCH: Chezz Nihell spoke to Forces News before his professional debut

Army boxer Chezz Nihell has won his first professional boxing match.

The Lance Corporal defeated his opponent Kent Kauppinen in the Cruiserweight division on points.

They were fighting on the undercard for the James DeGale vs Chris Eubank Jr event at the O2 Arena.

Ahead of his professional debut, LCpl Nihell has said it is "what dreams are made of".

During the fight, his wife Corporal Alanna Nihell was in the boxer’s corner and LCpl Nihell says he is amazed at the opportunity he has.

He said: "To be honest, I thought it would take a couple of years to build up to a show like this.

"My coaching manager and my advisor have pulled out an absolute blinder getting me on this show. The O2. My debut.

"It’s what dreams are made of.

	Chez Nihill Army Sports Awards 2018 Credit BFBS_0.jpg
Nihell was proud to be announced as the winner of the 2018 Army Sportsman of the Year award.

In regards to his wife's involvement in his team, it’s a move that LCpl Nihell believes is the right call.

He said: "It makes sense 100% for me and Alanna. We're both boxers. We both box for the Army team.

“My boxing journey within the Army, Alanna has always been a part of that.

"For me to do the pro thing, I wanted her to do that as well.

"She got her pro coaching license when I got mine and she did her coaching courses. She has a lanyard now and will be hanging up in my corner on the night."

Team Nihell 190202019 Credit BFBS.jpg
Both husband and wife have been working hard to make sure everything is ready for the big fight on Saturday.

Cpl Alanna Nihell has a well-respected boxing career in the Army as an international fighter for Northern Ireland.

The pair met as part of the Army Boxing team and for Cpl Nihell, it’s business as normal to be in his corner.

She said: "It is an experience and a journey, but for us, it’s normal.

"We live our lives every day and do the same things together. It’s just like an ordinary day for us. If I wasn’t a part of his team, it would be weird.

"It’s just natural and feels right. That’s the main thing. We both bounce off each other and trust each other.

"He’s been in my corner but now, I’m going to be in his corner."

Since ending his time boxing for the Army, LCpl Chez Nihell has been coaching the service’s next generation of fighters.

"We are all hungry and it is that alien feeling where a lot of them have never boxed before," said Nihell.

"There’s only a couple that have had one or two bouts.

"For the majority of them, it’s a clean slate. They haven’t trained boxing or put any gloves on before three weeks ago.

"You see the similarities and that’s where I try and give them advice."