Not many fighters carve out their own path away from the trodden road in this sport, and even fewer do so without big financial backing. It gets even harder the lighter you weigh. But one man from the UK has started doing so and is on the cusp of a world title tilt if he continues his winning ways. That man is Charlie Hoy. The skilful flyweight uprooted his boxing career and has now had as many paid fights away from the UK than he did in it, he has won himself a WBA strap at two weights and is ranked 6th by the WBA at Flyweight – touching distance from a world title shot.
Now based in Miami, I asked the Cheshunt native how that move came to be
“I had had enough of boxing in Britain – the ticket sales and all that side of the business so I ended up going on holiday in Miami and trained in the world famous 5th Street gym and literally trained there every day, I got the buzz back and just asked how it worked in the states (to train and fight) and then went back 3 months later when I had some money and they wanted to sign me on a contract. And things went from there really.”
Charlie had said he’d had enough of boxing in Britain, so I asked him whether he felt he’d been let down by the Sport in the UK
“I wouldn’t say let down – I wasn’t let down at all. It’s just the way the business works. There’s a lot of “Secret” talent in the country – I know a few fighters who would be world champions but are on the streets or working part time because they haven’t got a big following because they’re always training and in the gym and not down the pub making friends to get them to buy tickets. I hope it changes eventually, it has to.
I think it (becoming a road warrior) was the only option I had really, I’m not exactly a heavyweight sensation or have a gold medal so for a promoter I wasn’t very good – that’s how the game works today unfortunately. So I have to go out there, take risks. I believe in my ability to finish fighters so that I don’t have to rely on the judges and potentially get screwed over.
I do like it though; it’s different, I have no pressure and I get to see a different places in the world. But sometimes I’m not the “A” fighter – I’m the “B” fighter so if it’s close I won’t get the decision”
Charlie clearly knows the dangers to his career being a road warrior, but I wondered whether he felt other fighters should follow his lead and leave home comforts behind
“Yeah I do think so, there’s a lot of fighters who are in the shadow of no-so-good fighters because they don’t sell like the others. They’re not getting their opportunities and they’re not getting the exposure and they cant make ends meat from the game and end up quitting boxing”
Having fought on the road for 7 fights now but sitting at a high ranking in the WBA and being a two weight belt holder, I asked Charlie whether there was anything he’d change in his career if he could do it over again
“If I knew boxing would be like this in the pro game I don’t know if I’d have turned over to begin with. It’s stressful, it’s lonely – the business side of it. The only bit I really like is the sparring and fighting. The rest of it I don’t actually like. If I could choose my career again I’d go straight to Miami from the start”
Every boxer dreams of winning a world title, and with his high ranking within the WBA Charlie is now touching distance from a potential fight for one. I asked him when he believed he’ll get the shot
“I’m ranked 6th with the WBA at the moment, if I win my next fight I should move to 3rd or 4th. I want to fight the Ukrainian (Artem Dalakian) who’s the world champion as soon as possible and hopefully it gets sorted soon”
My final question to Charlie was whether he’d fight back over here against a domestic rival
“Yeah of course I’d fight a domestic rival, but that would be after I achieve my dream of capturing a world title and I’d wanna fight a domestic rival who’s well established themselves so it generates a big purse”