Matthew Chanda is a 30 year old professional boxer from London with a 7-1 record since making his pro debut in 2014. He is the current Southern Area Super Bantamweight champion and recently lost a Split Decision in an enthralling fight to Duke Micah for the Commonwealth Bantamweight title.
BBB: Hi Matt,
Hope you are well mate,
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us
MC: Thank you for your interest lads, I am honoured.
BBB 1) – Please tell us about your boxing background, how did you get into the sport?
MC: My boxing background – when I was in secondary school (14/15) myself and a few friends used to go down to Crown and Manor ABC in Hackney to watch Ian Napa train and we would mess around on the bag. At 17 I became a parent and my life consisted of just work and looking after my son. I had no social life. My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time advised me to go to the boxing gym as it was something I enjoyed. I went to the gym and met Steve Kipps (My amateur and current coach) and he promised to make me a champ if I dedicate myself to the sport …and here I am today.
BBB 2) – Who is your all time boxing idol and what are your reasons for that choice?
MC: My all time boxing idol… this is a really hard question as I have a few for different reasons.
Julio Cesar Chavez Sr – for his intensity and ring knowledge
Roberto Duran – for his attitude. He was unstoppable when he got into his rhythm.
Juan Manuel Marquez – for his ring intelligence
Pernell Whitaker – for his unbelievable defensive work and Floyd Mayweather also for his defensive work and how he played the game of boxing.
An honourable mention for Jason Mathews and Ian Napa for being Crown and Manor legends.
BBB 3) – Take us back to December 2016 and your fight with Duke Micha for the Commonwealth Bantamweight title. You were a heavy underdog going in to the fight, but gave Duke Micah the fight of his life and lost narrowly on a split decision. What are your main memories of that night and what will you take from it going forward?
MC: My fight with Duke Micah -going into the fight myself and my team felt confident that I was at that level and we believed I had a great chance of getting a win. I was in no way intimidated by his high KO percentage, as I have always sparred and fought fighters who were bigger than me and could punch ( I am 5.2 so majority of fighters are bigger haha). I felt I didn’t enough to get the win however I know that I did let him back into the fight, but to be fair to him he adjusted and changed his game plan (you can’t buy experience). I feel experience and not lack of ability on my part was the difference in the end.
BBB 4) Has boxing at that level now gave you a new found confidence that you can take on and even defeat the elite names in the sport?
MC: The fight gives me a lot of confidence as I gained a tremendous amount of belief from the fight. I know I will one day be a major player in the game. I have mixed it with top boys in the amateurs and sparred and done well against elite fighters. Doing what I did in competition makes people believe in me and as for myself, it just confirms that I can do it.
BBB 5) You’re back in action at York Hall on March 18th, how much do you enjoy fighting at this famous boxing venue?
MC: York Hall is my favourite venue. I have had 15 fights there as an amateur and pro and in my heart I am undefeated there. The size of the ring suits my fighting style. I also love watching fights there as a spectator as it is easy for you to get involved as the layout of the hall is very fan friendly.
BBB 6) – You have a manager who clearly believes in your talent in Steve Goodwin, how much do you respect him and how important are the Goodwin’s to your boxing career?
MC: I can’t speak highly enough of Steve and the Goodwin team. When I first met him I was very apprehensive as you hear a lot of stories about how promoters only think about themselves and only have the interests of their own pockets in mind. Steve always takes time to speak to me regarding decision making about fights and money and always makes himself available; either by phone or in person. I couldn’t ask for a better person to be working with.
BBB 7) – Which other boxers from your local area should we here at BBB and fight fans be keeping an eye out for?
MC: Liam Dillon is definitely a fighter to look out for. I’m not sure what weight he will be boxing at but he has his debut in April and is trained by my coach Steve Kipps. He sets a vicious pace and has power in both hands. He was also a good amateur. Mikey Sakyi is also one to look out for; he has a slick counter punching style and can come forward and lead with shots also.
BBB 8) – And finally, what are your aims for 2017? If we spoke to you in 12 months time, where would you like to be in terms of your boxing career?
MC: In 12 months I would like to have won the English title and defended my British title and also have a world ranking at super-fly with one of the main world bodies.
BBB – Thank you again for taking the time to do this Matt.
MC: Thank you again, see you soon lads!
You can follow Matt’s journey in his pro boxing career on Twitter – @matchanda27