Chris Matthews (10-2) ruined his chance of challenging for the Southern Area featherweight title in front of his home crowd in Maidstone this weekend on March 27 by coming in over 9lbs overweight on the scales.
Matthews weighed in at 9st 9lb for his featherweight bout against Martin Hillman - a whopping 9lbs over the limit.
The boxer, his dad Ray and trainer Johnny Armour are furious, given he was just under 9st 1lb when promoter Joe Elfidh weighed him on Thursday night.
Stand-in opponent Orpington's Martin Hillman (13-6), replacing Jack Budge who withdrew for family reasons, had just eight days notice for the fight. But it was Maidstone's Matthews, who enjoyed a full training camp, that came in heavy for his first ever title tilt.
Three-time Southern Area title contender Martin Hillman raged: "I’m absolutely fuming and devastated to say the fight is off tomorrow due to my opponent failing to make weight! The British Boxing Board have put a block on the fight because he came in 7lb heavy!! Anyone who has bought tickets I will get your money back to you, don’t worry, and I’m sorry it’s cancelled but completely out of my control. I made the weight, I was ready to fight and lift that belt tomorrow night."
Promoter Joe Elfidh released the following statement: "Due to Chris Matthews failing to make weight for his Southern Area Featherweight Championship bout versus Martin Hillman the promotion scheduled to take place at Mote Park, Maidstone tomorrow has been cancelled.
The Southern Area Council of the British Boxing Board of Control will in due course carry out a thorough investigation into the circumstances behind the failure of Chris Matthews to make the weight. Initially we considered proceeding with a watered down promotion, however we have a duty to the paying public to provide what we advertised and this would not have been the case.
Full refunds can be obtained from where you purchased your tickets."
Hillman's trainer Ray Askew also said: "Well as you may have seen the Martin Hillman fight along with the entire show is cancelled due to Martin's opponent coming in 9 pound over weight!!!! I wouldn't normally post this but I'm seeing people ask who was responsible.
"Martin epitomises professional and anyone who knows him knows he gives blood, sweat and tears. He has lost a considerable amount of money paying deposits on coaches. He has lost hours upon hours of home time training. We had 8 days notice they had 3 months...fill in the gaps as to what we are all thinking!!"
Promoter Elfidh, a former pro himself, extended his apologies to the undercard also.
Light-heavyweight Paul Brown was due to appear and he too was annoyed at the cancellation.
“Absolutely gutted to say this but tomorrow show in Maidstone is postponed and won’t be going ahead. The reason for this is because the main event Chris Matthews who is fighting for the southern area title didn’t make weight. Not only that his brother also pulled out of tomorrow’s show so there wasn’t enough fighters to go ahead with the show. I will have everyone’s money back in the next couple of days and will refund your money. I’m gutted as I have trained so hard for this and been put through hell. Hopefully we will have a new fight date soon.”
JE Promotions plan to reschedule the show with an announcement due to be released shortly.