From a hardscrabble council property existence in Chelmsley-Wood (Birmingham) England to the sun and surf of California, life has been an interesting journey for Sheer Sports’ Rachel Charles. A single mother at 17, Charles by no means expected herself working in boxing but that is precisely what she has been doing for the closing (close to) 2 many years. After her start with (the late Dan Goosen’s) Goosen-Tutor Promotions, to Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, to her modern position as the publicist for Los Angeles’ Sheer Sports Management, Charles’ lifestyles have been boxing. An infectious snort and warm friendliness is clear through her Birmingham accessory but belies the iron-hard survivor that has triumphed on a difficult road absolutely traveled for the Woodland Hills, California resident; it became a pleasure spending a couple of minutes chatting with Charles from her home in Los Angeles.
Bill Tibbs: Good morning Rachel, thanks for taking a minute to talk. How are you?
Rachel Charles: Good morning mate, I’m precise, I’m suitable.
BT: So, let’s get right into it. How does a woman from Birmingham, England emerge as in Los Angeles, California operating in boxing? Or, earlier than that, how do you come to be in California?
RC: My father, who really lives pretty near me, was in California once I turned into growing up. My Dad became a Motown musician, a drummer, for Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and lots of extras. He becomes actually from Oklahoma however lived in California. I additionally have an uncle, King, who becomes the percussionist for Neil Diamond, for all time, and he becomes always traveling and every 12 months once they toured they’d come to England. So, developing up I’d be going to peer Neil Diamond and of route got to recognize the band and so on through the years. Fast forward to three years later, I’m 21, a mom with a young daughter and Vince (destiny husband, Charles), Diamond’s percussionist, and I commenced to have a dating. He stated to me ‘do you need to return to America with me?’ And off I went to California.
BT: Doesn’t sound like he needed to ask two times. ‘Wanna go to California?’… ‘Why yes I do, funny you should ask’ (laughs).
RC: Oh, mate, I turned into packed and prepared to head. I usually had the concept that I wasn’t meant to emerge as in Birmingham, I knew I could get out of there at some point. I of direction had no plan how to do it, however I simply knew I wasn’t meant to stay there. So, I changed into off like a shot, married, a mom and heading to California. It turned into all very exciting at the time. It may be very surreal; in truth it become the most surreal issue in the international.
BT: We are going back a few years here. It’s now not totally pre-internet however it wasn’t just like the small world we stay in now wherein everything and every region is a internet site away. I suggest, for me, developing up, places like California were like a dream vicinity on the opposite facet of the world someplace.
RC: Oh. Believe me, like I stated after I were given there from the council flat in Chelmsley, the drab and drizzle of England, to the solar and palm timber of California it became a totally surreal time in my lifestyles. You can’t pretty accept as true with it’s miles going on however all very thrilling on the same time. Keep in mind, my Dad lived in California so I would go and visit him every few years growing up so I had seen it and I became a bit bit familiar with it. I knew I desired to get out of Birmingham some how, some day, and get there but it was nevertheless very surreal while it came about.
BT: So, you compromise into lifestyles in Los Angeles and what’s subsequent?
RC: Well, it was the Diamond life as we referred to as it (laughs). My husband Vince become the percussionist with Neil Diamond and it’s life on the street – excursions, live shows, the entire bit. The crazy life of a travelling musician, this is all new to me. Back at domestic we’d have humans dropping by, stars, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie. Some folks that have been famous, a few I didn’t understand had been well-known. It was simply normal to Vince; those had been the people he labored with in the industry.
BT: Your marriage doesn’t remaining though. Were you able to continue to be buddies after you split?
RC: No, it doesn’t final very long. We had been married from 1991-1997. I spoke to him 2 instances once we cut up up and that became simply due to the fact I ran into him with the aid of fluke. But, I will continually say it turned into Vince that were given me to the USA and to Los Angeles, he gave me that possibility. But, I had to get on with my lifestyles. I become busy looking to discern out what I became going to do subsequent. We had split up and then it become, ‘adequate, what’s next? I had to figure what become subsequent. I had to get on with my lifestyles’. But, searching back, I will constantly don’t forget Vince for giving me a existence out right here. Vince alas passed in 2001 and I’ll by no means overlook him; I try to honour his call regular.
BT: But, a life in boxing isn’t always in the plan at the moment. Correct?
RC: Bill, I didn’t recognize an upper reduce from a hook at the moment (laughs). No idea what I’m going to do and no concept how I’m going to do it. But, I needed to discover a task, determine what is next. So, I get a process at Nordstrom’s. People at work had been saying there that ‘you could do more than this; you should search for some thing else’. And, I did. I labored at one-of-a-kind jobs, got some higher jobs, worked my way as much as Beverly Hills to an advert enterprise, had a variety of fun there. But, then, boom. I misplaced the entirety. I became in my 20’s having a great time, now not maintaining track of factors, bills, charges, all of a unexpected, I misplaced my domestic, my car, the whole lot besides the footwear on my feet. Seriously, my daughter is asking at me like, ‘what have you ever achieved here? You are the best parent I even have, what goes on right here?’ I suggest I even have zero, not anything and I’m now not sure what is subsequent.
BT: Is boxing at the horizon by some means at this point?
RC: Well, this approximately 2003-2004 and a superb friend of mine knew this guy, she become a pal of his, and he changed into a boxer. She says to me ‘you have to come meet this man, he’s a boxer and you have to meet him’. I changed into like, ‘Ok, certain, something, I’ll meet him’. Well, I pass meet him and that guy became James Toney.
BT: And, apart from being your friend’s pal, you don’t have any concept who this guy is?
RC: No, don’t know him in any respect. But, I meet him and I think he’s nuts, in an awesome manner, I suggest James is just a large presence, larger than life and I suppose this guy is bonkers, however I loved him. Anyway, we get to recognise every other and begin speakme and I’m seeking out jobs as always and guess what? He introduces me to Dan Goosen. I walk into his workplace and I know zero about boxing and he asks me, ‘what do you realize approximately boxing?’ I said ‘not anything however I can research’. I can promote myself, the gift of gab, all that, perhaps the English accessory helped a little, who knows? Anyway, he hires me on the spot to reply telephones, hires me as a receptionist. So, now I’m operating for a boxing promoter.
BT: Do you maintain in contact with James?
RC: I certainly noticed him currently, we ran into him at the health club. He didn’t recognise I changed into working with Aaron and Stevie (Mckenna, undefeated Irish brothers) so we have been talking about them. It turned into fantastic to look him, he’s doing well. James is a bit tough round the edges but he has a huge heart.
BT: So, lower back to Dan Goosen.
RC: I’m operating for Goosen-Tutor as a receptionist and I hear the workplace chatter that they are looking for someone to do PR. I understand I can do this. I know how to speak to human beings, I understand a way to paintings a room, and I get things finished. I stroll into Dan’s workplace and I ask him about the PR position and he says, ‘Do you recognize some thing about boxing?’ I said that I didn’t but I can analyze, I’m a tough employee and I tell him that I will get things completed. He says, ‘OK, exit and learn about the boxing enterprise’. It turned into like that; he hired me on the spot. And, we had a extreme roster of talent back then. We had James (Toney), just signed Andre Ward, Robert Guerrero, Glen Johnson, plenty of fellows.
BT: How had been you received in the industry?
RC: Great, it changed into remarkable. I changed into working tough and just trying to research all of the time. The men who helped me loads have been men like Kevin Iole, Robert Morales, Steve Springer, and Tim Smith, men like that. Rich Morotta, he became wonderful and might usually pump me up; such a extraordinary man. I may want to ask them something and they’d help me, give me recommendation, they all helped me plenty. The guys have been first-rate, the girls no longer so much at instances (laughs). I stayed with Goosen-Tutor till 2007.
BT: What have been you doing after that?
RC: After that I went and labored for Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing. He was out of New York so I might be backward and forward to New York once in a while. I stayed there for a brief at the same time as and then I become out doing my personal factor. I stayed with my foot in the door a bit bit, kind of in, sort of out, however I simply labored my very own thing, being unbiased. Then, Sheer Sports became putting their team collectively and they had Courage Tshabalala (former heavyweight contender) as their instructor and comparing their combatants they have been considering signing. He went to Ken Sheer and Lyle Green and said that they genuinely must get me on board as a part of the group. I had acknowledged Courage from operating with him years earlier than. So we met, I joined the group and here we are.
BT: What is your favored part of the process?
RC: You realize I simply love the fight existence, love being around the warring parties and working for them and getting them the ink they deserve. I’ll do something for my kids and I virtually revel in being across the fighters, in the fitness center, the fights, the whole thing. I see how tough they are operating normal within the gymnasium, giving the entirety they’ve; I see how tons they provide of themselves. When I see that I just understand that the least I can do for them is hit the streets and paintings simply as tough for them and I do – I’ll do anything for my fighters and they realize that. I’ll do some thing for my boys.
BT: A busy lifestyles in boxing.
RC: Just a hectic existence (chuckles). It’s been a real tough street at times Bill, such a lot of u.S.And downs. Life is busy and loopy and everything. So many stuff were a fluke and luck and timing and all kinds of things. But, life is good. I actually have an splendid daughter, Georgia, who is 34 and living in Hawaii. She is a social worker and has a Master’s degree from USC. She is extremely good. And, I’m blessed to paintings with the amazing organization that I do a Sheer Sports. I’m blessed.