When your dad is rated among the best trainers in the country and one of the most respected men in boxing, you almost have no choice but to be involved in the sport somehow.
Boxing is all George Fox has ever known, from pulling on infant-sized gloves as a young child to hit his father, Don Charles, to now launching a new boxing boot camp gym in his local area of north London, Mill Hill East.
Charles is known as an elite-level trainer whose fighters have included former British Commonwealth and European heavyweight champion Dereck Chisora.
Fox, who has 12 wins (four by knockout) from 16 bouts as an amateur, wants to follow his father’s footsteps and take the sport by storm. “Boxing is just in our blood,” he told me.
“My mission is to become heavyweight champion of the world. It’s always been a dream of mine, and I’m entering what I hope to be the last 12 months of being an amateur before I turn professional.”
But is there an alternative in terms of forging a career in boxing that doesn’t involve getting in the ring?
“The blueprint is the same for all, whatever age, weight, gender or level of experience”
“In terms of training others, there is nothing more fulfilling than sharing your knowledge and seeing the development and progression of someone who was once a beginner,” Fox said. “It’s something I draw great satisfaction from.
“I’ve worked with kids who have been bullied and lack any self-belief. One in particular who couldn’t look you in the eye, but within two years of starting to box he was captaining his local football team. It was amazing to see his true character emerge.
“Everybody has potential, it’s all about realising it. I have plans to train professional boxers, set up a boxing agency, create youth development schemes, and work with schools in the future, so yes, training people is definitely on my agenda.”
Not only has Fox’s dad helped to develop his mindset and ambitions, but he has also been heavily involved with the birth of boxing gym BOXR.
“I suppose if you’re going to look at the background of my business, it would start with my dad. He is a renowned coach who has trained fighters such as Anthony Joshua and Derek Chisora.
“Our clientele is made up from a ratio of 60% ladies to 40% men which I think breaks the stereotype of boxing being a male-dominated sport”
“Boxing has always been in the family and we have owned boutique-boxing gyms for the last 15 years. The foundation was laid by him and he made it possible for the seed of our idea to be planted.”
The BOXR boot camp has been designed to give boxers a place to train, as well as giving anyone the opportunity to learn how to box, or simply to just lose a few pounds.
“We take pride in having a platform that’s beneficial to both the average customer and boxing champions,” Fox said. “The blueprint is the same for all, whatever age, weight, gender or level of experience.
“The model has been tried and tested, from housewives to professional athletes, from those struggling with weight issues to body beautifuls.
“We welcome everyone – any shape, size or fitness level.
“We work as a team to help the customer reach whatever goal they desire, be that to lose weight, sculpt specific muscle groups, improve fitness, develop social skills and self-confidence, or simply to learn boxing.”
Boxing has always been viewed as a macho sport, but Fox adds that he is keen to see those perceptions challenged by his new venture.
“Our clientele is made up from a ratio of 60% ladies to 40% men which I think breaks the stereotype of it being a male-dominated sport. Boxing is an appealing source of fitness for all.
“There’s more to it than who can throw the hardest punch. We aim to improve your cardiovascular fitness, your diet, speed and core body strength.
“These are all big factors in becoming a boxer and in staying fit in general that people really don’t look at.”