Manuel Charr – The “One Man Show“
Manuel Charr is truly a “one man show“ who cosequently goes his own way. Born in Lebanon he was expelled from his home and had to relocate in Germany as a child. Hence he had to learn early to prevale and fight against all odds. “Nothing was ever given to me, I had to work very hard for everything I achieved“, says Charr.
In 2011, the 28-year-old started his own business, planning his career and organizing his fights with his “Diamond Boy Promotion“ all by himself. From that day on Charr managed to win four different champion titles of the highly regarded World Boxing Council (WBC), the biggest sanctioning body in boxing. He is the only fighter in the world who ever managed to hold the WBC Baltic, Mediterranean and Silver International Championship in the heavyweight division at the same time.
“It is my goal to unifiy all WBC titles“, says Charr. “Of course, this means that I will win the world championship, too. I will not stop until I am wearing the big green and golden belt around my waist.“ His first shot at the world title on September 8th, 2012 was stopped by an injury. At Olympiyskiy Arena in Moscow Charr challenged WBC champion VitalI Klitschko. The fight was broadcasted live in more than 150 countries with almost ten million people watching on RTL in Germany alone.
Charr went right at it and tried to hurt Klitschko in the infight but suffered a cut over the left eye early in the fight. The “Diamond Boy“ wanted to continue fighting but the ringside physician recommended that the fight should be stopped in the fourth round. “I didn’t lose that fight and Vitali didn’t win it“, states Charr. “Vitali’s family doctor had to protect him. So I still want my rematch. I deserve a second chance because the first chance was stolen from me. I will work my way through the ratings to get another shot. Whoever gets in between me and another world title shot will be knocked out.“
Big words, but in the last couple of years Charr backed them up with corresponding actions. He won 24 fights including 14 KO victories although he was forced to step into the ring with high quality opposition from his very first fight on. 2005 the “Diamond Boy“ started his pro career at Sauerland Event in Berlin. Even though he had been a successful thai boxer and had a perfect amateur record of 11 wins in 11 fights, the then 20 year old prospect had to prove himself in sparring sessions with world class athletes.
He accepted every challenge and never backed down, no matter how big or strong his opponents were. Especially his sparring rounds with “Russian Giant“ Nikolay Valuev, who was on his way to become a major TV star in Germany and win the WBA world heavyweight champion title, finally convinced the management at Sauerland Event. Manuel Charr really earned his first professional contract through hard work and dedication. “I learned a lot in those years and I thank my first manager Wilfried Sauerland and, of course, my first coach Ulli Wegner for all they have done for me.“
In 2008, the “Diamond Boy“ moved from Berlin to Hamburg and from Sauerland to Universum Box-Promotion, the biggest promotional company in Europe at that time, under the management of Klaus-Peter Kohl and Dietmar Poszwa. So Charr remained in the “Champions League“. His new coach was no other than Fritz Sdunek who had already turned Dariusz “Tiger“ Michalczewski and the Klitschko brothers into world champions and superstars.
“There is only a handful of people who can say that they worked with the two best German boxing trainers: Ulli Wegner and Fritz Sdunek“, states Charr. “I had two great years at Universum and took the next step. It was exactly the right move at the right time and very helpful for my further career.“
What helped Charr a lot, was the fact that he had to face tough opponents such as Adnan Serin, unbeaten Gbenga Oloukun and veterans Sherman “Tank“ Williams, Owen Beck and Robert Hawkins. The “Diamond Boy“ never ducked anybody or withdrew from any challenge. Instead he grew stronger and stronger with every battle he won.
When Universum lost its TV deal with German network ZDF in 2010, Manuel Charr felt that it was time to move on. So he joined forces with manager Roland Bebak and moved to his adopted hometown Cologne. In his second fight under the new banner on German network Sat.1, Charr knocked out former Mike Tyson conqueror Danny Williams in the 7th round on June 25th, 2011, at Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany. It was Charr’s 18th win in as many pro-fights. Because of different business approaches Charr decided to leave Bebak afte that fight and go his own way.
On November 18th, 2011, Manuel Charr beat Marcelo Luis Nascimento for the WBC Silver International championship and entered the top 15 of the WBC world ratings for the first time. He successfully defended his Silver Title against strong Taras Bydenko and earned the right to challenge Vitali Klitschko in Moscow. The “Diamond Boy“ recovered very fast from the injury. On December 21st 2012, Charr stopped hard-hitting “Sandman“ Konstantin Airich by a vicious body shot in the first round to add the WBC Mediterranean and the WBC Baltic Championship to his growing title collection. Adding two more stoppage wins over Yakup Saglam and Oleksiy Mazikin, the 28-year-old is already back at no. 8 in the WBC world ratings.
In June 2013, Charr was scheduled to face British big mouth David Haye in what could have been an epic showdown. Contracts were signed and they held a press conference in Manchester. But former world champion Haye suffered a hand injury in training so the fight had to be cancelled.
“Haye is scared, he’s ducking me“, says Manuel Charr. “But to be honest I don’t care about him. I will make my way with ot without him. I will become the first fighter to win the world title without a strong manager or promoter. The Klitschkos quit working with Universum when they were already world champions and big names. I won all of my titles only after starting my own business. Like everything else in life I will just work my way to the world championship.“