This Friday’s Southern Area title fight is a big deal for Chas Symonds – lose and he knows his boxing career is as good as over.
The 29-year-old fights Darryl Still at the Coronet in Elephant & Castle for the welterweight title he first won when he knocked out Brett James in the 2004.
Since losing it to Ross Minter 12 months later, Symonds’s career has stalled and included two lengthy breaks from the ring.
His latest return saw him fight Gavin Tait for the belt in November but he was defeated on points and he realises another defeat this week will spell the end of his ambitions.
“I know I will not get another chance,” he said.
“There is a lot of people in line for this title so I am privileged to get this shot again and I have got to win.
“The last fight against Gavin I thought I had won but it went his way.
“I wanted a rematch but he has now vacated the belt and I am facing Darryl.
“I haven’t watched him but I do know him well as I wanted to fight him when I came out of retirement two years ago but he turned it down.
“He has won his last six fights on the spin and hasn’t lost in two years so is up for the challenge.
“But I have no choice – I have to win this fight.
“I’m feeling good, I want to get in there and do what I have got to do.”
Symonds, a lifelong Crystal Palace fan, was presented to the Eagles crowd at half-time during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town and received a rousing reception.
“It was great,” added Symonds, who is sponsored by Simply Construction and Paul’s Antiques.
“My trainer, manager and myself were sat in the front row by the dug out and Palace have said they will support me for as long as I keep boxing and I have got some good support on Twitter from the fans since Saturday.
“Bolton Wanderers have Amir Khan, Millwall have David Haye and now Crystal Palace have Chas Symonds.”
The bout headlines the bill at the Coronet, which also includes Waddon fighter Ryan Joe Walsh, who takes on Diego Burton in his second professional fight.
Tickets are available on 07703 625277.