Chris Matthews vs Martin Hillman

Row erupts between Chris Matthews and Martin Hillman teams over failed weigh in

Published On Saturday, April 27, 2019By Tim Rickson

Chris Matthews and Martin Hillman teams at loggerheads over scales used at weigh in

Maidstone's Chris Matthews’ (10-2) Southern Area title dream went up in smoke after he weighed in a whopping 9lbs over the featherweight limit for the April 27 'Make or Break 2' show at Mote Park in Maidstone.

Matthews weighed in at 9st 9lb for his featherweight bout against Martin Hillman (13-6), which left the Orpington man fuming.

His dad Ray, who is very active in his son's career, and trainer Johnny Armour have been very vocal and distrusting of the scales that were used and the process, claiming that it would be impossible for so much weight to be gained when he was just under 9st 1lb when promoter Joe Elfidh weighed him on Thursday night.

It means the 24-year-old would have put on 8lb overnight, which the team are scratching their heads over.

Ray said in an interview with Kent Online: “Chris had the 21-day weigh-in three weeks ago and was 9st 3.75lb, so bang on course.

“He was weighed on Wednesday and was 9st 2lb, he was 9st 1lb when Johnny weighed him again on Thursday night and then 9st 0.75lb when Joe weighed him at the Sweatbox Gym just after that. Martin [Hillman] was even there. He saw the scales.

“It’s impossible to put on 8lb overnight. Chris has never been 9st 9lb in his life.

“It was just a set of bathroom scales at the official weigh-in. Surely you’d have calibrated scales for a title fight.

“He’s been training and running every night, he was up at 5am for work this morning, finished at 12 and then went to the weigh-in. It doesn’t add up.

“He was up for the fight and he was going to win it.

“The way’s he trained, the way he’s sparred, everything was spot on. I’ve never seen him look so good.

“He’s absolutely gutted. He feels like giving up.

“He’s being made the scapegoat for the show being called off and it’s not right. He’s done everything right. It’s absolutely impossible to put on all that weight.

“Joe knows what he weighed on Thursday night. He weighed him. He should be speaking up for Chris.”

Matthews was due to top the bill on Make or Break II at Maidstone Leisure Centre but Elfidh has now cancelled the whole show and is offering ticket refunds.

Joe Elfidh shared his account of events: "Chris and Martin both weighed in on two different scales that are calibrated every month.

"Martin Hillman was 9st 1.5lbs the night before and then he was 8st 12lbs on his first and second attempt on two different scales. Chris Matthews was 9st 1.5lbs on the day before then the next day he was 9st 7lbs on the very same scales.

"If he was only three or four pounds over then the Board would have allowed him a short time to work it off, but it but was too high to be allowed within their safety regulations.

"We even put Chris on the gym scales as well and it said the same weight.

"Three days before the check weigh in with the Board Inspector there, he was 9st 2lbs.

"Martin weighed the same on both scales, but Chris didn't."

Master of Ceremonies Dave Bassant was present for the weigh in and backed up what Elfidh already said, "I was at the weigh in, Martin weighed 8 12 8oz, Chris weighed 9 7 8oz.

"We checked the scales several times even put a weight on the scales to make sure they were calibrated.

"We then put Chris on the gym scales for comparison. He then weighed 9 8!

"I was impartial to whatever boxer as the MC for the show. The Boxing Board inspector was witness to all the events also that unfolded."

On losing the main event, Elfidh did contemplate continuing with just the undercard with the interest of is fighters in mind, but the quality and the reduced number of fights would not have provided the paying public with the quality they deserve, so decided to scrap the show.

"I'm gutted for the undercard fighters who have been training so hard for this and selling their tickets.

"I'd like to thank sponsors Rob from Kent Trade Frames and Jody from Metric Scaffolding who have supported the show and the lads, and it's greatly appreciated and Why do I bother, 99% of people I work with a brilliant."

"Let's see if chris comes back and says he wants it for September."

The BBBofC are promising a 'thorough investigation'.