Ahead of his warm up fight before a Midland title shot in October, we caught up with Tamworth’s own boxing champion Charlie Williams.
Few people know the real commitment as a young professional boxer making it through the ranks faces. We met up with Williams at a motorway services during his “peak week” pre fight. He sat sipping on a low fat soya latte as the grind to make weight ahead of Saturdays fight continues. Charlie was in between jobs as we chatted Blues, Boxing, and what the year has ahead for his beloved Birmingham City and his own career.
I’ve always been a Blues fan, runs in the family like boxing
Sitting at a record of 7-1-0 following a successful amateur career, the 3rd generation boxer spends his days plumbing to pay the bills and fits in 2 gruelling training sessions daily. “Boxing is a tough sport both inside and out of the ring until you really get a big title shot, and even then it’s nowhere near as rewarding as professional football” explained Williams, “maybe I should have stuck to football!”.
Charlie spent his earlier years following Blues from the Tilton and playing football alongside Bailey Gargill, now at Bournemouth, and Rotherham’s Joe Newell. Describing himself as an out and out striker you can often see Williams supporting his former team mates or donning his boots again in fund raising and charity games. “I style myself on Mikael Forsell” laughed the boxer “he was a legend!”
Charlie’s fight this weekend at Villa Park, will be supported by a partisan crowd of loyal fans and Bluenoses who all take delight in bellowing out “Mr Blue Sky” (Williams theme tune) as he makes his way to the ring. “I’ve always been a Blues fan, runs in the family like boxing” states the boxer.
Charlie was inspired to hang up his boots in flavour of his gloves by his father and grandfather who represented GB at the Helsinki Olympics, Williams is a quick, rangy boxer with an abundance of energy. The fighter recalls his pride at being paraded to the Blues faithful during half time as last years derby with Aston Villa following his title win, describing the moment as a dream come true, and hoping bigger celebrations lay ahead as his makes his way up the professional ranks.
Asked about Blues, Williams reminisces to the days of his favourite player Christophe Dugarry donning the royal blue shirt and the famous Darren Carter play off penalty as his iconic Birmingham City moments and players. Asked what he thought this years prospects are Williams states “Harry is a legend and brings confidence to the fans, but it’s a competitive league this year and not so easy to get out of”. His prediction of a mid table finish followed and like most Blues fans hopes the new signings gel quickly and that Blues continue to build from the recent transfer activity in enhancing the squad.
Williams is trained by his father Karl at B78 in Tamworth and states his father remains a huge driving force in his career. The young puncher says it was his dad (after years of asking) who took him to his first Blues match aged 6. Williams remains a loyal attendee at St Andrews and takes in as many games as possible across the season. He is also a popular face at Birmingham City Ladies games and remains close friends with BCLFC former favourites and England stars Karen Carney and Laura Bassett.
I have fought on the Matchroom Card twice now and Eddie Hearn went out of his way to congratulate me and my focus. Hopefully after being on the card of fellow Bluenose Kal Yafai earlier this year, Eddie will remember me and give me a break in the future.
The future for Williams?
“I have to lay credit to those who also supported me to date”, Boxing is all about promotion and gaining some loyal supporters “so big shout out to Steve at Showpax, USN and Luke 1977 clothing!” all of which help make sure Williams has the best support, nutrition and Infrastructure a young fighter needs. The next steps for the boxer remain a international title and moving up the ranks.
“I have fought on the Matchroom Card twice now and Eddie Hearn went out of his way to congratulate me and my focus” beemed Charlie “hopefully after being on the card of fellow Bluenose Kal Yafai earlier this year, Eddie will remember me and give me a break in the future”.
If you want to follow Charlies progress, check him out on Twitter @Pro_CharlieW and make sure you give him a shout out before Saturdays fight at Villa Park where we will be supporting him from ringside.