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Maidstone's Chris Matthews aims to put first pro defeat behind him at Young Guns boxing show

By Craig Tucker

Chris Matthews is ready to bounce back from the first defeat of his professional career.

Maidstone lightweight Matthews (8-1) has a new trainer after losing his unbeaten record to Jules Phillips.

He's no longer working with Johnny Armour, linking up instead with George O'Mahoney at Evolution Strength & Fitness in Aylesford.

Chris Matthews, left, wants to get back on track this weekend after his defeat to Jules Phillips Picture: Countrywide Photographic
Chris Matthews, left, wants to get back on track this weekend after his defeat to Jules Phillips Picture: Countrywide Photographic

The pair have been working hard on Matthews' speed and hope to see the benefits at Maidstone Leisure Centre on Saturday night on promoter Joe Elfidh's Young Guns show.

Matthews, 23, said: "Jonny was mucking me about so there was no point carrying on with him.

"I've got a new trainer and we've been doing more speed work instead of power.

"It's made quite a difference – I feel quicker."

Matthews faces Hungarian Tamas Laska, who's won 19 and lost 16 of his 36 bouts, with one draw.

Success will set up a rematch against Phillips following his narrow points defeat.

Matthews said: "I'm going to do this one and then it's the rematch.

"I did ask for the rematch straight away but he's already got another fight.

"I really wanted it because I only lost by a point and a lot of people reckon it should have been a draw.

"It happens, though, doesn't it? You can't win them all.

"The main thing is to put it behind you and get on with the next fight."

Matthews' older brother, Dave, is set to make his pro debut on the same show.

The 25-year-old faces Scott Hillman, who's lost all 28 of his bouts.

Matthews had 25 amateur bouts and also boxed on the unlicensed scene before taking a break from the sport.

He's lost a stone-and-a-half in preparation and said: "I'm excited. The first couple of weeks back were hard but I've got most of the weight off.

"I've still got a little bit more to lose but I'm in decent shape.

"I haven't got the biggest punch, I'm more of a boxer.

"I'm not underestimating Scott Hillman, journeymen can be quite hard."

Tickets to the Young Guns show cost £35 general seating or £55 ringside.

To book, call Ray Matthews on 07511 680092. Doors open at 5.30pm.

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