The Oltai Boxing Interviews: Charles Frankham
By Paul Oltai
European champion, World bronze medallist, youth Commonwealth gold and 11 national titles. You hear these achievements and think surely these are the ones of a seasoned amateur? Well think again, these accolades belong to a young man who goes by the name of Charles ‘Boom Boom’ Frankham, who at the age of 19 has decided now is the time to make an assault on professional boxing.
Would you also believe it if I said boxing was not even his first choice?
‘I done football before boxing, well I actually tried everything before boxing, like football, golf everything before boxing. It was just meant to be boxing by the looks of it.’
When you go and do a search on the name Frankham in boxing it becomes apparent why this young man was meant to take up the career he has found himself in, with his Grandad John Frankham becoming light heavyweight British champion back in 1975 when at that time being British champ was respected world-wide. It then comes to dawn on you that maybe Charles didn’t choose boxing but boxing chose him.
Making his debut this Saturday Feb 2nd at the O2, London on the undercard of the Cheeseman vs Garcia European title bout, Matchroom have chosen this show to allow Charles to launch what is promising to be a very fruitful career if his amateur career is anything to go by.
We had a chat about his decision to go pro with Matchroom and what career aspirations he has for the future. Have a read.
How did you get into boxing then Charles? And have you always known you would box?
‘All my family have boxed, my Grandad was British light heavyweight champion back when the British title was one of the main ones about as well.’
What style of fighting would you say you have?
‘A slickster I would say, but it depends really I can mix it up if I need to but I am more of a slick style of fighter. Hit and not get hit.’
Before deciding to join Matchroom was there any other offers on the table?
‘I had a few people try to get in touch with me, but for me Matchroom are one of the best out there. They are over in America now and shows worldwide, so it was a great opportunity for me to be able to fight all over the world. It is great for me to join them and through that get to join Tony Simms and have a great camp with him.’
I see you said you have joined the Simms stable. Who do you have in your team?
‘We have Donnall (Smith) he helps us train, he is a great trainer. Then we have all great boys in the gym to spar with, we have got great lads in and around my weight. The likes of Joe Cordina, Martin J Ward, Ricky Burns and Connor Benn. We also get some good lads coming in for sparring, we have all different styles with all different shapes and sizes. I don’t have to go anywhere for sparring cause of the talent I have around me daily. It’s a great gym and great atmosphere when we are all training and have a laugh and joke but serious when we get down to work. Them lads know what it takes to win titles so there is no better place for me right now.’
What made you decide to go pro now at the age of 19?
‘I felt the Olympic team was already picked out from the last one. So there was no point waiting around for another 4 years after that. Then if you didn’t get on that one then you would be to old and may as well pack in and retire. By the time the next Olympics come up after 2020 I could have some big belts to my name and be in some big fights and be out there in America somewhere or headlining somewhere in UK. As an amateur I already achieved more than I ever dreamed I would and everything I wanted to. I got to go all over the world with England and boxed all different styles giving me all the experience I needed. I always wanted to be a pro as soon as I started.’
‘From my very first fight people have been putting bets on me to become world champion and they knew what talent I had then. I had my first 41 amateur fights undefeated then got robbed in the world championships semi final and that was my first ever defeat and had barely even lost a round. I had boxed Americans, Cubans, Russians you name it. I had won 4 or 5 golds for England before that and that was my very first defeat. That was part and parcel of me turning over as well to be quite truthful. If I had stayed amateur I would have boxed some of the best in the world which is all hard fights which then makes it a flip of the coin to whether you get the victory depending whose back yard you are in. We have seen lads absolutely walk fights and get robbed that is the sickening thing about amateur boxing now. It is sickening to see what happens to some of the young kids.’
How are you feeling about having your debut at somewhere like the O2?
‘Yeah it is going to be great, I have big support coming there. All my mates are coming down so it is going to be good. I just can’t wait to put on a show now you know.’
What are the long-term ambitions for you in boxing?
‘Just take my time at the minute and get a good few fights under my belt, no need to rush with me being young at the minute. In the future though my aim is to be world champion and get as many belts as I can and just see if I can get a few quid as well.’
Do you see yourself being a multi weight champion?
‘I can see myself moving up definitely but not in no rush at the minute with that. Just let my body grow out naturally and let my bollo.. I mean body develop more.’
Who would you class as your inspiration be it in boxing or life in general?
‘My Grandad most probably, also my family. My family has always pushed me and said if you want to do it then let’s do it properly, if not just pack it in. My Dad has always helped and been there to push me when I needed it.’
Do you have anyone you would like to give a big shout out to who has supported you along the way?
‘Omar Park Homes they are caravan manufacturers, Anderson’s Roofing, BoxFit UK. In fact BoxFit UK need a huge shout out please because they have backed me from my very first fight even as an amateur, always giving me shorts and different bits of kit like that. They are still with me now and I am so thankful.’