Sunday, August 14, 2022  |

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Nick Charles battling cancer

14
Aug

Nick Charles, the veteran boxing broadcaster and one of the sport’s true nice guys, is battling advanced cancer.

Charles, a young-looking 63, said the cancer started in his bladder but has spread to other areas. He began his first round of chemotherapy on Thursday at the renowned M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston, where former fighter Genaro Hernandez has received treatment for his cancer.

Obviously, he’s in for a battle but he retains the positive outlook he has always had. At the same time, Charles is a straight shooter.

“I got some real bad cancer, I gotta tell you,” he said. “It’s stage IV, highly aggressive. The term is metastasized; it’s spread to other places. It’s not good. ÔǪ The idea is to hit it hard (with chemo) and see which tumors shrink up. It’s a long road, a 12-round fight. This is like Round 2.

“I just want another round, another day. I’ll do it. I just have so many great people in my life.”

Charles sounded upbeat on the phone from his hospital room, saying with conviction that he plans to beat this. He said he draws strength from his strong Christian faith and the outpouring of support he has received.

“The only time I break up is when I think of my 3-year-old daughter [Giovanna, with wife Cory],” said Charles, who also has grown children and grandchildren. “I’m so in love with this child. She came along at the perfect time of my life. I thought I was too old, too selfish, but it’s been the happiest, most-blissful period of my life being around her.

“ÔǪ That’s when I get weepy, when I lose it. I want to be around to give a father’s love. I’m trying to buy time for that.”

Charles, a resident of Atlanta, has had a long, accomplished career. He started at local television stations and in 1980 became the first sports anchor at CNN, where he later had his own program. He left the network in 2001.

He also has had a long association with boxing, having worked some of the biggest fights of the past three decades. Muhammad Ali, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson are among those he’s covered.

Now, he might be best known for his blow-by-blow work for Showtime’s Shobox: The Next Generation.

“I was supposed to be in Vegas today [Friday, for the Pinoy Power card],” he said. “I was so looking forward to it. Even the little shows I’ve done are just amazing. I love it, the whole subculture that is boxing. That’s my world. I’m always working on the next show, watching DVDs of the fighters on my computer and taking notes, making calls.

“I’m missing that right now. I hope people will say sometime soon that, ‘Nick is back, he might look 10 years older, but he’s back.’ I think people want that. And I want to have that.”

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]

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