Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
“He was raised in the gym by Derek Chisora. My son was sparring Chisora at the age of 18”; Don Charles explains the potential of his son George Fox; Anthony Joshua defends his world heavyweight title against Kubrat Pulev on December 12 on Sky Sports Box Office
Last Updated: 24/11/20 5:03pm
George ‘The Future’ Fox is “a thinker” who resembles Tyson Fury and survived a punishing lesson from Derek Chisora, says his father and trainer Don Charles.
Did you introduce him to boxing?
Charles told Sky Sports: Definitely, it was inevitable. But I didn’t want him to be a boxer, I tried to direct him towards football. At the age of 12 he wanted to put more into boxing than football.
At 16, he was very serious. I told him: ‘I will only let you box if you pursue your education’. He is very academic.
Nathan Cleverly got a degree while training to be a world champion – I gave my son this as an example.
In the US, basketball and soccer plays are on scholarships where they study while doing sports.
My son did complete his education. He has a philosophy degree. Then he said: ‘Dad, I want to be a boxer, for real’.
Your son was not put off by his experience with Chisora?
Charles: He was raised in the gym by Chisora. My son was sparring Chisora at the age of 18.
My son was getting beaten up. It was painful for me to see him getting battered by Chisora!
He has learned his craft the hard way.
Describe your son as a boxer?
Charles: He is a thinker, very smart with whatever he does. He is a perfectionist.
Stylistically, the nearest person he resembles is Tyson Fury. His style is similar to Fury’s.
He is elusive, fast, agile and has incredible boxing IQ.
He was used by Fury as a sparring partner to prepare for Deontay Wilder…
Charles: The reports that came back from Vegas told me that George did very well.
A young professional is always in awe of the world champion. But I heard George held his own, and learned how to be.
He told me: ‘Dad, I need experience’.
Fury called him back for his next camp.
He has won all three of his fights via decision – will the KOs come eventually?
Charles: Definitely. As a coach, I know that a lot of emphasis is put on power. That’s because people want to see knockouts.
Sometimes somebody knocks everybody out then, when a real test comes, they fail miserably because they got carried away.
Every heavyweight possesses enough power to knock their opponent out – some more than others.
It is hard to land a clean shot on George, similar to Fury.
George has many, many attributes so the focus isn’t on power.
Some fighters with power are very limited in other areas. George’s power will come along.
I realised a long time ago that George isn’t a three or four-round fighter. So he will be a better pro than an amateur.
The emphasis for us? He hardly ever gets hit. It is hard to land a clean shot on George, similar to Fury.
Fury stopped a few people at the start of his career but he wasn’t a knockout specialist. He broke people down so they quit or the knockout eventually came. That is the type of fighter that George will develop into.
How far can George go?
Charles: I am not a typical father who says their son is the best thing since sliced bread.
But I can tell you that my son, as a heavyweight, is very good. He is extraordinary.
If he wasn’t my son, I would say the same thing. I would give an arm and a leg to have a heavyweight like him – and he just happens to be my son.
When will he be back in action?
Charles: He is no exception to the other professionals trying to make something of their career. Unfortunately he falls into the category of boxers who only recently started – now there is a queuing system and the people getting fights are the established fighters.
There are no fights for people who are just starting. He is not a priority yet. He has to stay strong and keep polishing his craft until he gets the green light.