Interview with World Super Featherweight Boxing Legend Charles Shepherd
Billed as the fight of the century, next month sees two of the biggest names in boxing go head-to-head. So it seemed the perfect opportunity, in the run-up to the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight, to talk to our very own boxing champion Charles. Here the former British, Commonwealth and World Super Featherweight Champion talks to us about doing 1,000 press-ups a night, beating Peter Judson and who he thinks will win next month …
How did you first get in to boxing?
I am the youngest of four brothers and boxing has always been in my family because my late grandfather on my mother’s side was a professional boxer as well.
When you were competing, what was your training regime like?
My training regime was ridiculously intense when I was fighting, partly because my philosophy about boxing is ‘the greater will can outdo the greater skills’, which means that there's always somebody better than you, but not if you're the fittest man alive! I used to average at least 40-50 miles running every week and I once went about two years without missing a run including on Christmas Day, I was like Forest Gump Ha!! I also used to spar about 30 rounds a week every week with my two brothers who where professional boxers as well, I also used to do 2 x 12 minute rounds on the punch bag every week, a thousand press-ups every night midweek and finish off with an hour of stomach crunches every night.
Where did the idea for boxing displays come from?
The audience participation events and displays come from the fact that people love seeing fighters in training camp preparing for fights sparring, hitting the bag etc. I just thought one day I want to give people a chance to see a former professional World Champion Boxer hitting the bag and the punch pads up close and then getting the chance to experience getting in the boxing ring and hit a former Champion...without getting hit back!
What do you miss about competing?
I miss the whole regime going into camp training, sparring etc., but most of all I miss the big title fight atmosphere walking to the ring with everybody shouting your name. Nothing ever comes close to that.
What was your best fight?
My best fight was probably against Peter Judson, the number one contender for my British title and he had been bad mouthing me in the press saying he was going to knock me out and stuff. I won every single round and punched him from pillow to post to the extent that I retired him and he never boxed professionally again.
Do you have any lucky sportswear (like gloves etc.) that you wear in fights?
I used to box in little black boxing boots and all black shorts exactly like Mike Tyson and Sky Sports used to call me The White Mike Tyson!
Did you have a ritual or anything special you liked to do before a fight?
Because I used to have to starve myself to make the weight for fights I always had a peppered steak straight after the weigh-in the day before a fight. Always.
When you do your boxing display at events, what do people get most excited about?
I think most people get excited about getting the chance to get in the boxing ring and hit me whilst I’m wearing the thin body protector, Ha!
If you could take your boxing display to any country in the world, where would you choose to go?
Any country in the world that's a tough one! Probably America and Las Vegas, because I never got the chance to fight in Las Vegas but I think my boxing displays/audience participation events would go down really well there.
Will you be watching the fight on May 2nd and who do you think will win?
I will definitely be watching Mayweather vs. Pacquiao on May 2nd and I've always said Mayweather to win because he is, in my opinion, one of the Top 5 Greatest Fighters of All Time.