Charlie Hatley and his dad/trainer Greg are a great story. I should know. A few years back, Greg’s altruism caught the eye of Todd Wagner, Mark Cuban’s business partner, and he gave Greg and his at-risk gym rats a new place to work out in Lancaster, in a facility as big as a barn. But Wagner’s generosity ran out, and now Greg and his fighters train in Greg’s backyard. Things looked bleak for a while. But this past weekend Charlie won the U.S. National Welterweight Championship, which grants him the No. 1 seed at the Olympic Trials. After the jump, the elated email from Dallas filmmaker Chris Howell, who’s spent the better part of four years following Greg’s gym. He’s elated because, had Charlie not advanced, there basically wouldn’t have been a story for him to tell.
Please join me in congratulating Charlie Hatley on winning the US National
Welterweight Championship and qualifying with the #1 seed in the upcoming
Olympic Team Trials.
He was more focused and in better mental and physical shape than I had ever
seen him (and that is saying something) so we knew something special was on
tap, but let me tell you – Charlie was a man among boys this week,
outclassing each and every one of his opponents. He KO’d his first opponent
in the 1st round. He KO’d his quarterfinal opponent in the 2nd. His
semifinal bout vs. Keith Thurman avenged a loss earlier this year in the PAL
Finals and was the unanimous bout of the tournament with a total of four
knockdowns in four rounds (Charlie had 3, Keith 1). And of course, on his
late Grandfather’s birthday, Charlie stepped up and boxed Olympic style –
out pointing Mahlon Kerwick of the Army in the second round to invoke the
20-point mercy rule. Read that again, in the National Championship he out
pointed his foe one minute into the second round.
Charlie can box, Charlie can BANG.
He now moves on to the US Olympic Team Trials in August as the #1 seed.
It’s not over yet, but Charlie is peaking and great things are on the
horizon. If you know this young man and his story, you know that this
victory was a long time coming and more than well paid for. The mental
determination and resilience Charlie and Coach Hatley have shown is
phenomenal. We are all so very proud of both of them.
If you would like to send them a card of congratulations (please do, they
deserve it), you can send it to my office (address below) and I will pass it
along to them.