Charles Harris

Boxer Charles Harris, formerly of Amory, sports his championship sash as he is interviewed by Tuscaloosa radio station host DreDay.

Welterweight boxer Charles Harris hasn’t found it too difficult to stick to his training regimen despite the pandemic.

“I wouldn’t say this has been harder for me,” said Harris, 24, a former Amory resident. “I know how to train – put up the bag on a tree, jump rope, do pushups, shadowboxing. The basic stuff.

“I just have to keep working, stay in shape and stay motivated. This coronavirus thing, it will be over soon.”

Now living in Tuscaloosa and training in Columbus, Harris lived in Amory in 2015-16 and still has relatives there who are cheering him on.

Harris picked up an International Boxing Federation 147-pound title in a February bout contested in Biloxi and he expected to be fighting again this July.

But the coronavirus scrambled all professional sports soon after his last fight, and now it appears his next bout will be in January, possibly on the undercard of a delayed fight between lightweights Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia in Las Vegas.

An opponent for that fight has yet to be determined.

The oldest of six brothers whose father died when he was just 6, Harris said he took up boxing in 2012 with the encouragement of his “baby brother,” Walter.

He came home and told me there was a guy who could train to be boxers,” Harris recalled. “We acted like we knew how to fight, but deep down in my soul, I knew better.”

Boxing offered a different kind of path for Harris, the object of bullying when he was younger. “People made fun of the clothes I wore, the things I didn’t have,” he said. “Boxing offered me a way to more confidence and a better life.”

And it offers him a platform to try to help youngsters who were like him.

“I like giving back, going to schools and tell my story,” he said. “I don’t want them to do like I did. I didn’t finish school. I tell them to be positive and follow their dreams.”

In a tough welterweight division, Harris is still waiting on his next shot. “I feel like it’s time for me to be in a main event, to fight on ESPN. But I’m confident my time will come.”

Contributing: John H, Ward, Monroe Journal

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