TOMORROW night (Saturday) will be the biggest of Isle of Wight-born soldier Chez Nihell's life as a boxer when he makes his pro debut at London's O2 arena in front of an armchair audience of millions.

The lance corporal, 31, who currently serves with 27 Regiment, the Royal Logistics Corps, is on the undercard facing Wiltshire's Kent Kauppinen, on a fight night headlined by the long-awaited clash between bitter rivals James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jnr.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Chez, 31, of Shorwell, decided to turn pro last month following his glittering amateur boxing career — a six-time UK Combined Services champion and England’s reigning ABA elite super heavyweight champion.

The 2018 Army Sportsman of the Year, who learned to box at the Newport Phoenix Boxing Club, goes into the contest in front of a huge boxing-hungry crowd at the O2 arena, looking forward to making his pro debut and in front of such a huge worldwide audience.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Chez Nihell, right, receiving his 2018 Army Sportsman of the Year award.

Chez, who will have his amateur boxing champion wife, Alanna, in his corner, was at the 02 Intercontinental Hotel in London waiting for his official weigh-in and face off with his opponent when he spoke to the Isle of Wight County Press this morning.

He said: "I feel calm and relaxed and have a game plan with my coach John Edwards.

"My opponent, Kauppinen, is a good one with a mixed martial arts and white collar background.

Isle of Wight County Press:

"His record is nine fights with two wins, which were both by KO against men on their debuts, so a good opponent for my first fight."

The scale of the occasion at the O2, which will be shown exclusively live on ITV Box Office tomorrow, came a little earlier than Chez had dared imagine.

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

"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."

Isle of Wight County Press:

The former self-employed carpenter, who followed his brother into the army, served in Afghanistan with The 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, and, on his return from his tour, his career as a boxer took off spectacularly. 

The powerful switrch-hitting counter puncher became part of the Army Boxing Elite team set-up more than five years ago and is coached by John Edwards, who believes he has a big future in the cruiserweight division.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Chez Nihell's pro debut opponent Kent Kauppenen.

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.

“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 told the County Press.

Isle of Wight County Press: