As a kid growing up, I was bullied, raped and didn’t finish high school.
I lost my father at the age of 7. Being raised in a single-parent home, my mother became my everything. I knew it was going to be hard on her because there were six of us.
Being the oldest, I knew what I wanted to do and that was be the best big brother and set an example that my younger siblings could look up to. I wanted to become a professional boxer. I knew I had to get the help I needed to make this lifelong dream become my reality, and I wasn’t going to stop or give up.
As the journey began, I did what I needed to do to have a focused and determined mind. Four years later, I am now a champion of the GTA, with 8 wins and no losses.
I strive daily to be a positive role model in my community. I still work jobs everyday to help my family and to show these young men that hard work pays off and that you can make lemonade when life keeps giving you lemons.
When I go into the ring, I’m not going in just for me. I’m stepping in for every young man who is trying to turn their life around, my family and every child who is being raised in a single-parent home.
Let’s give this bad life a knockout punch and be a champion! #tmgachamp
Editor’s note: Charles “Champ” Harris is a native of Columbus, Mississippi, now living in Birmingham. He shares his story with groups and media outlets far and wide.