We caught up with Charlie Webster, who presents Chudinov v Buglioni this Saturday night LIVE on BoxNation as well as our Wolverhampton and Manchester shows, to discuss boxing and a whole lot more!
When did you first become interested in boxing?
I first became interested in boxing as a very young kid. My step dad used to box and I had always taken an interest in boxing from a young age. I used to like watching the old fights….and then as a teenager after doing Karate I started hitting the punch bag myself by then I had read all of Muhammad Ali's books which totally inspired me as he did so many people.
Who is your favourite boxer?
Of all time? It has to be Muhammad Ali, that might sound cliche however he shows the inner strength and courage that we are all capable of and I don't just mean inside the boxing ring but outside too. My current favourite boxer is Kell Brook because he is from Sheffield where I'm from, I love his style and I'd like to see him really given a chance to show he is the real deal, he has a few doubters out there. Kell was the first big fight I covered live as a broadcaster, a huge goal as a presenter I'd been working toward for a long time.
What is the best fight that you've ever watched?
I'm lucky and very grateful to have been to some incredible fights, nothing beats being there. I still get goosebumps and can't help but cheer and shout even though I know I'm there in a professional capacity. Obviously there are so many amazing fights in history, I'm going to go for a more recent one, Jamie Moore v Matthew Macklin, 2006, thriller, definitely one of the best fights domestically!
What’s the fight you are most looking forward to in 2015?
We have been building up to it quite a bit now unfortunately it has now been postponed twice but it's got the making of a great tear up, Andy Lee v Billy Joe Saunders. Actually also Tyson Fury v Wladimir Klitschko…just no boring holding please. I want to see them fight!
What’s been your favourite interview that you’ve conducted?
Oh this is hard. I enjoyed interviewing Prince Naseem because he was such an influence when I was growing up in Sheffield. I used to jump up and down watching his fights on TV they were an amazing spectacle. We need to go back to more of that in boxing! Again Ricky Hatton the same in a way, interviewing him was great not necessarily because of the interview just because I followed his career so closely. I've done a few interviews when I first got involved in boxing from a broadcast perspective where they are so shocked that a female is interviewing them, it is hilarious and then they try and be clever and give you some kind of cocky line, I won't mention names.
If you could change one thing in boxing what would it be?
Make sure that boxers don't hide away from other boxers…complete mismatches really annoy me. You are not the best if you avoid fighting the best. As a fan I don't want to see a one sided battering. I want to see the best boxers not be afraid to take each other on.
You’re a bit of a fitness fanatic – what’s your best achievement in the fitness realm?
My most recent I think. I just did an Ironman. I am an Ironman! I could never have imagined doing it a few years back, I could hardly swim and I didn't have a bike. It is so tough, I did it in 15 hours - just think 15 hours of non-stop pushing yourself to the limit, I spewed everywhere after I'd crossed the finish line. Also the charity challenge I did last year running to and from 40 football clubs that was such a test not just physically but mentally and emotionally. I was exhausted after.
Out of Amir Khan, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao - who would you snog, who would you marry and who would you avoid?
This is so funny! Manny I would marry for sure, look I'm even on first name terms with him. Avoid Mayweather. Snog Khan but no tongues allowed!
What sort of stuff do you get up to when you’re not on our BoxNation screens?
I'm working on quite a few projects at the moment both in and out of TV. I love training as you've mentioned, running, boxing, cycling, weight training - ok I am living up to the fitness fanatic question now! I am a massive water sports fan too, kayaking, paddle boarding. I just love being outside and active. I'm big into writing and film. Messing about with my friends, going for walks, nattering and I'm normally doing something silly. I am known for my excited dancing too. Travel is also a big part of my life. I like adventure!
If you were a boxer, what would you use as your entrance music?
Salt n Pepa Push-It - that is my tune, well not literally but it would be the first thing that my friends would play for me if I was doing a run or a challenge or such like.
What’s your party trick?
I wouldn't say I a have a party trick, it is more I can't seem to turn down a challenge no matter how crazy.
If you were a boxer, what would your nickname be?
Charlie 'The Black Widow' Webster!
If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
Invisibility! Can I have 2? Teleportation - love to travel!
If you could have 3 famous people, alive or dead, over for dinner - who would you choose any why?
Muhammad Ali the ultimate sportsman - I don't need to say more. He is a hero.
Madonna - she was such a inspirational influence to me as a young girl. I used to play her music all the time and my first ever album was the Immaculate Collection.
Angelina Jolie - the epitome of a strong, talented, beautiful, fearless woman.
Finally, how do you rate Frank Buglioni's chances of winning the world title this Saturday against Russian machine Fedor Chudinov?
Frank Buglioni understandably has been given the title of underdog which is no bad thing. I think his preparation under Paschal and Steve Collins has been second to none, working not just on the physical side but the mental side of boxing, working closely with a psychologist. His camp will know everything about Chudinov.
This is Buglioni's chance and he knows it and he badly wants it. I back him all the way and so will the crowd at Wembley. The power of support can change a fight and this is going to a good one!