OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - They say when life gets tough, put on your boxing gloves. That’s exactly what Charles Dale did at the age of eight growing up in Meridian.
“I followed my brother down to the boxing gym, my older brother used to box and at that time, I boxed for the first time and fell in love with it," said Dale, a professional cruiserweight boxer Dale.
Boxing, for many, is a great way to exercise. For Charles, it was an escape from the projects he grew up in.
“I had a single parent household. It was four of us all together, all boys," Dale said. My mom, she did the best she could do, but yet and still we still was in a poverty stricken situation. Boxing, in a sense, gave me a way out.”
Now, almost seven years into the profession, the 27-year old is preparing for the biggest fight of his career. On February 15th, Charles will compete for the WBC silver cruiserweight championship in Tuscaloosa against undefeated champ Deon “The Equalizer” Nicholson. If victorious, Charles could potentially compete for a world title.
“He’s not going to lay down, he’s coming to win but I’m a better opponent," Dale said. "We’re going to his hometown and the odds are against us, but that’s nothing for me because the odds have always been against me. So we’re going to go and take the belt.”
“You have to be in shape for this sport," said Charles Dale’s trainer Keith Hughes. "You’ve got team sports where you get tired, coach says timeout, you in, you out. You walk in these ropes, it’s just you.”
Hughes has been training Charles for two and half years and in his 20 years of professional experience, Hughes says Charles has all the tools to take down Nicholson.
“He’s six foot two. He’s lean, he’s fast, he’s got reach and he’s got power," Hughes said. "All that together makes a good boxer. Not only is he a good boxer, but he’s a ‘puncher’ boxer.”
Winning is necessary for his record but will do wonders for his livelihood as this fight means more to Charles than wearing a belt around his waist.
“I have two kids so I want to be able to take care of them. I still have family that’s in poverty stricken situations so I want to get my family out of – sort of speak – the projects," said Dale. "I’m not looking to prove anything to anybody. I’m just looking to do what God put me here for to do. Take care of my family, give back to the community and bring this championship back to the Gulf Coast.”
Charles “The Southern Assassin” Dale will fight Deon “The Equalizer” Nicolson February 15th in Tuscaloosa at the River Market.