Charles Joseph Atkinson

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Charles Joseph Atkinson
Real nameCharles Joseph Atkinson
  • Striker
Reach78 in (198 cm)
Born (1941-05-18) 18 May 1941 (age 83)
St. Asaph, North Wales
StanceOrthodox stance
Boxing record
Total fights16
Wins by KO11
Charles Joseph Atkinson
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CitizenshipUnited Kingdom

Charles Joseph Atkinson Births & Marriages Index of North Wales, 1941 (born 18 May 1941) is a British Boxing Board of Control. turned trainer who coached and trained boxers who won 10 professional heavyweight titles including 7 of the coveted WBO.[1] versions, being involved in more than 50 world title fights in total, in Five Continent. Incredibly none of his boxers had more than 10 professional fights before winning the prestigious title, some less, all lifting the title when considered underdogs.

Amateur career

Atkinson started boxing in Liverpool at the age of 14 in Liverpool Catholic schools competition, progressing to win a Northern Counties open championship at 15, and the following year reaching the National Youth finals at The Royal Albert Hall, losing in the semi-final. Following that loss whilst a member of the St Teresa's Amateur Club. The St. Teresa's club closed, and his father Charles Atkinson B.E.M. a former Bomb Disposal Expert who served in the Royal Engineers in India, and as a boxing coach had already won three senior England Boxing National Amateur Championships titles there, moved to Kirkby in 1961 where he founded the later famed Kirkby ABC., which was to produce among a host of a schoolboy and junior champions under Atkinson Sr, as well as the great future World champion John Conteh, and British Junior Welterweight Champion and outright Lonsdale belt winner Joey Singleton, both of these had previously won England Boxing National Amateur Championships titles for the Kirkby club.

Professional career

Following a short two years professional career in Germany with fights in Hamburg, Cologne, and Frankfurt as well as Britain, Atkinson served four years in the Police in Southport and then Liverpool City Police forces before embarking on a business career. A successful partnership with his brother Mike, and backed by his father's stream of talent from Kirkby, he decided to go into boxing management and promotion in Liverpool in 1973. This culminated in eight years of promotions at Liverpool Stadium which had been closed almost since Atkinson himself last boxed there.

During his period in British professional boxing Atkinson had held BBBC official licenses as Boxer, Trainer Second, Agent, a Promoter and as a manager, and in 1974 had his first managerial success. Joey Singleton, trained by his father won the British Light Welterweight title in only hos 8th. professional fight, a 15 round points win over Pat McCormack at Liverpool Stadium on an Atkinson Promotion. Legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly sat in the front row to see Singleton get up from a first-round knockdown to win 10 of the next 14 rounds and take the Lonsdale belt.

Achievements as boxing promoter, match-maker, and manager

The highlight of the Atkinson promotional period was the staging of the John Conteh v Len Hutchins (USA) World Boxing Council in 1977,[2] in conjunction with Manny Goodall and American promoter Bob Arum. The fight won by Conteh by TKO and screened live in Britain and the USA, sold out in 24 hours, and Atkinson always regretted not taking the fight to Anfield.[3]

The big fight was arranged with a lot of co-operation from Conteh's agent Surrey-based Bobby Naidoo, a World Boxing Council with whom Atkinson a close friend. It was through Naidoo that African all-time great, Azumah Nelson traveled to Liverpool to be trained at the start of rise-to fame. He trained in Kirkby for his first all-African championship fight which he won in Accra.

It was after this that Naidoo offered Atkinson the opportunity to train and coach fighters in Thailand, where he had connections through the World Boxing Council. Thailand had gone through a period with no world champions and was anxious to get back on the map. He cannot remember actually accepting the job, but when a return ticket to Bangkok dropped to his letterbox in 1982, he decided to leave for Thailand. Atkinson formed a close partnership with top Thai promoter Somphop Srisomwongse, and World Boxing Council Edward Thangarajah, and the rest is history.

Between 1983 and 1995, his boxers won 10 world titles between them, including 7 World Boxing Council, Starting with former Olympic medal Payao Poontarat, and later including the great Flyweight Sot Chitalada, Saman Sorjaturong, and Samart Payakaroon, who all dethroned great world champions. Atkinson had inherited the gym disciplines of his father, and also had himself personal motivational skills, which enabled him to achieve the maximum from his boxers. One of his fighters, Sirimongkol Singwancha, who won 2 World Boxing Council, actually won a world title 12 rounder at the age of only 18.

Probably the best win in the Atkinson coaching career was the sensational knockout victory by Saman Sorjaturong In Los Angeles over Mexican great, Humberto González, in 1995, the American Ring Magazine "Fight of the year".[4] Sor Chatterung who had had no boxing experience of any kind before going professional, and before a packed partisan home crowd, at the LA, Forum, came back from a Knockdown (boxing), a points deficit, and with left eye closed, to floor Gonzalez in round 7, then batter him unmercifully till the referee stopped the fight. With The Thai a 25/1 underdog at fight time, it was the upset of the year.

During his long period working with Thais, Charles Atkinson also worked as a boxing advisor at ITV Manchester in Manchester, advising on fight quality and negotiating the purchase of fights from overseas. Working with Paul Doherty, Head of Sport, at Granada and Gary Newbon who held the same role at Central TV., the programme Fight Night became very popular on the regional channels over an 8 year period and showed most of Atkinson's fight successes abroad.

In 2011 he was invited to coach top amateur boxers in India. These included former world amateur champions Mary Kom and Sarita Devi. He coached them in both India and in Liverpool at Kirkby, with a view to achieving a place at the 2012 Olympics. Mary Kom made the cut, eventually winning the Bronze medal after losing to eventual winner Nicola Adams from the UK.[5]


  1. Prentice, David (2012-08-07). "Charles Atkinson adds Olympic medal to family riches". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2020-12-10.
  2. "Merseyside Boxing Archive". Retrieved 2020-12-10.
  3. Innocent, John (March 5, 1977). "Boxing Results: John Conteh vs Len Hutchins". EYE ON THE RING. Retrieved 10 December 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "Humberto Gonzalez vs Saman Sorjaturong Fan scorecards | EYE ON THE RING". Retrieved 2020-12-10.
  5. Live, Cheshire (2012-02-17). "Charles Atkinson to school some of India's best young fighters ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games". CheshireLive. Retrieved 2020-12-10.

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