Report and photo by Robert Hughes
Charles Hatley (14-0-0, 11 KOs) takes on San Diego’s Chris Chatman (9-1-0, 4 KOs) in an eight round jr. middleweight fight that is the co-main event of ‘ESPN Friday Night Fights’ broadcast live and worldwide from the Fort Worth Convention Center. This week downtown Fort Worth is home-away-from-home for ESPN because the network is basing its Super Bowl XLV coverage here. So all those East Coast suits are going to have to try squeezing in a little boxing before heading to their favorite Super parties.
Meanwhile, on the east side of DFW, Fightnews.com recently spent a couple of hours at the Hatley estate in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, getting to know the Hatley family, and watching them train.
Boxers Chales Hatley and brother Greg Hatley Jr. are the legacy of a dedicated father, Greg Sr., a former amatuer athlete who seemingly lives his life for his sons’ careers.
The family spends a lot of time together on the property purchased by Greg’s dad in 1970. It’s something of an oasis in a very non-descript part of town, on a corner with a lake on-site and park next door.
“My dad died and I moved back in to take care of my mother, she was fighting cancer,” the trainer said. “Then she died in 2008, so I stayed here and built
A boxing gym. That’s what all the Hatleys wanted.
“I played all sports and nothing did it for me but boxing,” he said. “Especially when I won a fight.”
Charles said he came to boxing the way a lot of of great athletes come to their sports — he got hurt, once, playing football.
“I tore up my (knee) and I that was it,” Charles said.
Today the Hatleys are running with weights, chopping wood and working with trainer-dad the ring.
In the park across the street Charles and Greg Jr. are pulling a 65-pound sled weight, relay style. Greg sprints from behind the backstop to right-center field, Charles sprints home with it, the long way.
After that the brothers continue their old-school ways of working into ring-shape — swinging an axe and chopping wood.
“We do the full body circuit pretty much every day,” Greg Jr. said. “Work the whole body every day.”
OK, Charles. You are in shape, great. So was Jack LaLanne.
How tough are you?
“I’m real (expletive) tough,” he said.
You’ve been watching video of Chatman?
Well, what’s he look like?
Do we a have a prediction?
“Probably the second,” Charles said.
Charles, did you know Chatman is undefeated, just beat two guys that were 19-0 combined before he beat them?
Charles Hatley is looking to earn a turn in his career, get that first big fight, win it, and keep fighting in real prize fights, all distinct steps. If he beats Chris Chatman he may get that first big fight.
Boxing fans are going to love The Future. We love talented guys that are tough and like to talk. Personalities and talent are synergistic — you have to have both to be a fan favorite.
Tonight we may see if Charles Hatley has the talent to go with that personality.
— ESPN Friday Night Fights, Feb. 4, 2011, ‘Super Brawl’ Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas —
Sergio Mora (22-1-2, 6 KOs) vs. Brian Vera (17-5-0, 11 KOs), ten rounds, middleweight
Charles Hatley (14-0-0, 11 KOs) vs. Chris Chatman (9-1-0, 4 KOs), eight rounds, jr. middleweight
Luis Yanez (4-0-0, 0 KOs) vs. Joseph Rios (8-5-1), six rounds, bantamweight
Ray Ximenez (1-0) vs. Alfredo Berto (1-3), four rounds, bantamweight
Emanuel Ledezma (9-1-1) vs. James Freeman (7-2), super middleweight
Angel Sigala (4-2) vs. Abel Hernandez (2-1), four rounds, middleweight
Greg Hatley Jr. will also fight a undetermined opponent