Full interview with Chas Symonds and Jason Matthews above.
When Chas Symonds faces off against Wes O’Neil at BKB 21, he will have more than just his beloved Croydon backing him. Behind him all the way will be former WBO middleweight champion Jason Matthews who enters fight camp as Chasa’s new head trainer.
Symonds had previously worked with Bill Witrod as his main coach, but recently switched things up after a majority decision defeat to Jonny Lawson at BKB Lockdown 2. Now, Symonds is out for blood and intends to get back to winning ways August 14th at the O2 Indigo, London.
“I’d be surprised if he gets past the first round” Said Symonds. “I’m going to get him a pillow from my house, just so he can have a good lay down, because he won’t wake up too quick, I’m going to bring him a pillow mark my words.”
“We will be victorious” Matthews added. “It doesn’t matter which way it goes, if it goes three rounds he would be lucky, but we will be victorious that’s what we’re out here to do”.
The chemistry between Matthews and Symonds was clear to see during their interview. Both men bounce off each other like the chuckle brothers, but camp has been all business as far as the duo are concerned. Symonds is waking up everyday at 3:30 AM for his morning run and has even quit his beloved scaffolding job to focus on training full time. This growth has been made possible by what Symonds describes as ‘good vibes and good people’, chiefly his head coach.
Speaking on the fighter-trainer relationship, Symonds was quick to sing Matthews’ praises for helping him fall back in love with the sport.
“The relationship we’ve got, listen, a happy camp is a great camp, our camp is just phenomenal at the minute, you know. We work hard, we grind and we’re confident. My mindset, I’m ready to go, half three in the mornings, up on the road. Surround yourself with people that inspire you. We’re training alongside Conor Benn, Jack Devlin, we’re flying in here, we’re flying in here you know.”
For Matthews, preparing a fighter for bare-knuckle combat is a first, but he remains confident in his boxing credentials and draws similarities between the two sports.
“Obviously I’ve been watching bare-knuckle fighting [for a while] and I think that bare-knuckle fighting is similar to boxing” said Matthews. “It’s not really like boxing because obviously you’ve got big gloves and it’s a bit more protective, but if you get the right strategy and give it to someone that’s already done boxing, it becomes quite easy… You remember bare-knuckle fighting is quite quick, it’s very very fast, obviously there’s technique but there isn’t a lot of technique, but what we’ve brought is the technique and the movements [of a boxer]. So, we will definitely be on top in this fight, quick time.
Symonds’ second bare-knuckle boxing bout will take place in three weeks time on the stacked BKB 21 fight card, headlined by Dan Chapman vs Sean George. To catch his fight live on the 14th August, order it through FITE TV below:
George Glinski is the founder of popular bare-knuckle boxing blog toethelinebkb.com and works as a staff writer and post-fight interviewer for BKBtm. His contributions to mymmanews.com include MMA, boxing, bare-knuckle boxing and Lethwei, with a particular focus on the British scenes.