ISLE of Wight-born boxer and serving soldier Chez Nihell — a revelation in the amateur boxing arena in recent years — will be making his professional debut in front of thousands at London's O2 arena next month.

The lance corporal, who currently serves with 27 Regiment, the Royal Logistics Corps, will be on a bill headlined by the long-awaited clash between bitter rivals James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jnr on Saturday, February 23.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Islander and serving soldier Chez Nihell has had a glittering amateur boxing career.  Photo: Poxon Sports

Chez, 30, of Shorwell, who learned to box at the Newport Phoenix Boxing Club, goes into the contest — his opponent not yet named — as six-time UK Combined Services champion and England’s reigning ABA elite super heavyweight champion.

Looking ahead to fighting in front of a huge boxing-hungry crowd at the O2 arena, Chez said: "I'm glad the cat is now out the bag. I'm over the moon to be making my pro debut.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Chez Nihell, in training for his first pro boxing fight at London's O2 arena on February 23.  Photo: Chez Nihell

“This is what dreams are made of. You only make one pro debut and to make it on a stacked card at London’s 02 in this new chapter of my boxing and army life is very special.”

Chez, who served in Afghanistan with The 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, has been part of the Army Elite Boxing set-up since 2013.

The powerful switch-hitting counter-puncher capped off his amateur boxing career in fine style winning the England Super Heavyweight Title Series belt in 2016 — defending it three times before being crowned ABA elite super heavyweight champion last year to join an exclusive class of boxers, which includes Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Dereck Chisora and Joe Joyce.

Isle of Wight County Press:

His coach, John Edwards, believes Chez has a bright future in the sport's cruiserweight division.

"Big achievement for the soldier who chose me as coach. Feeling proud for myself and the team, as well as all the great and best coaches who made Chez who he is today," he added.

Chez made the decision to turn pro after being named British Army Sportsman of the Year in November.

With the backing of the British Army, Chez he has received special permission to combine his status as a serving soldier with launching his professional career.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Team Nihell will have his wife, LCpl Alanna Nihell — a serving soldier herself — in his corner.

She was the first female to captain the Army Elite Boxing Team for two successive years and is a decorated champion in her own right having secured three ABA lightweight titles and a Commonwealth Games bronze medal in 2014.

Alanna said that no one deserves his chance as a professional boxer more than Chez for all the hard work he had put in behind the scenes.

Isle of Wight County Press:

"Let’s get this show on the road," Alanna said.

The fight will be shown exclusively live on ITV Box Office.