At World Boxing Training and Fitness, in Holyhead, Gwynedd, I am Charles Atkinson, a world-renowned boxing coach with a sterling reputation. I believe that training fighters is an ongoing education, and something totally different to boxing itself.
Training can indeed be a very long learning curve, unless you happen to work with a trainer who is experienced enough to nurture your skills in the most flawless way. It was some years following my boxing career that I began to take a real interest in the boxing gym. Discovering my true passion, I devoted my time to passing on my refined, specialised knowledge to important clients.
My father, Charles Atkinson Senior, celebrated tremendous success in amateur boxing, while producing a string of champions. Gifted in inspiring youngsters, he would train boxers from the age of 10 years, and take them to the top of their ability.
At one point at St Kevin’s, a school in Kirkby, Atkinson Senior taught five National Schoolboy Champions in one class at the same time. Even this did not include John Conteh, who developed at junior level and then went on to be ABA™ Champion and later WBC World Light Heavyweight Champion.
He was a strict disciplinarian, Atkinson Senior ran the gym at Kirkby A.B.C, which he founded. This also applies to his previous club in Liverpool, St Teresa’s. With a strict routine and no bad language or dissent allowed, only he would instruct and talk during sessions.
Earlier in his life, Charles Atkinson Senior spent much time in gyms around some of Liverpool’s top pros, such as Ernie Roderick and Nel Tarleton. He knew all the old-time Liverpool greats; this is where my father learned his trade.
With my father’s encouragement, I ventured into boxing management. Following this, I transitioned into promotion with my brother, Mike. My first fighter was my father’s latest ABA Champion, Joey Singleton. As a pro, Joey went on to win the British title and a Lonsdale belt outright in quick-time, in just 10 fights. Singleton is a true 15-round fighter, and a credit to the game.
I have been involved in more than 50 major title fights, as well as continental and international contests. However, that in itself is just a statistic. It is the win that counts, and that’s where the hard work, experience, and knowledge comes in.