Father, brother, son and nephews, all Paul Mason family’s box! But the special one is his son Charley! Who doesn’t want to have the opportunity to share the sport of their dreams with his son our daughter? To feel with them the same emotions of competition and help them overcome the most difficult challenges? Paul does it and does it well! Dive in and get to know this exclusive interview!
JabtoJab: Paul, How all started, till what you’re doing today?
(father) Paul Mason: I come from a boxing family. My dad boxed in the army, my older brother was a boxer and he now has 4 sons who all boxed too. His youngest son was a top-level amateur who was on the team Great Britain boxing squad and the Olympic squad. He is currently with Frank Warren as his promoter, 6 and 0 as a pro and already a southern area champion. It seems all the men in my family like to box. I started boxing back in the 1980s as a young teenager and boxed my last contest at 30 years old. I decided that I didn’t want to become a professional but had many fights as an amateur.
JabtoJab: And you Charley?
(son) Charley Mason: Boxing was part of my life pretty much straight away. I’d always be really interested in my dad’s stories about his boxing days and when I was younger, I wanted to be just like him. I’d ask and ask until I turned 10 years old and then from that moment onward, I’ve fallen in love with it more and more each day. My dad is the most important part of my boxing, without him being involved there would be no boxing for me. He’s been involved from the very start of the journey and I wouldn’t want anyone else with me. The understanding and relationship you have with your father cannot compare to any other and when it comes to boxing, I consider it a huge advantage.
My dad is the most important part of my boxing, without him being involved there would be no boxing for me.
Paul, when did your son started showing interested in boxing? What was your reaction and actions? ( father) My son Charley started asking about boxing at around 8 years old. I would hold the pads for him but told him that if he wanted to box he would have to wait until he was 10 years old. As soon as he turned 10 years old he reminded me of what I had said and so I took him to join my old boxing club. It wasn’t long after that when I decided that I would become a coach and join him on his journey. We are very close and it was what he wanted, so I qualified as an England Boxing coach and re-joined the club. Now nine years later on I am the lead coach of the club and Charley is a top notch very successful boxer also our team captain. He is a fine young man in and out of boxing, I believe that boxing has shaped his character. He is talented, hardworking, Brave and a true gentleman. Coaching a son from my experience is a wonderful thing. No one understands him like I do and he knows he can trust me. I do get a little nervous when he boxes but I manage it by focusing on the job ahead.
How do you guys think boxing is evolving in England and how positively can impact a young boy and girl life?
(father)I believe that boxing can bring many benefits to anyone, regardless of age or gender. These benefits would include benefits to mental health and also the obvious benefits to physical health and well-being. Obviously starting too old will limit how far you can go and what you can achieve. However, boxing is not all about becoming a champion. Successful competitive boxers are really a bye product of the main reason for us being here. We are for our local community. We keep kids off the streets and away from trouble. We keep them off the X Boxes and Play Stations. We help instill courage, determination, inner strength, respect for others, self-respect and confidence. It also produces the ability to bounce back from adversity and strive towards the next goal. Amateur boxing is experiencing a high at the moment here in the UK. Our club is wide reaching. We have male and female boxers, boxers who are competitive and some who are just recreational. The atmosphere is fantastic, and anyone is welcome.
(son) Boxing has evolved tremendously around the world which is a lovely thing to see and in England it’s the same story. It’s no surprise really when you see and hear all the positive things that come from being involved in it. Things such as confidence and character building, leadership skills the list goes on really. I can speak from personal experience of these benefits because when I was growing up I would struggle from a lack of confidence in pretty much every situation. That would mean I would sometimes shy away from certain opportunities; I don’t do that anymore. Boxing is engaging for all ages and people from all walks of life. It is also a great thing for creating lasting friendships.
However, boxing is not all about becoming a champion. Successful competitive boxers are really a bye product of the main reason for us being here. We are for our local community. We keep kids off the streets and away from trouble. We keep them off the X Boxes and Play Stations. We help instill courage, determination, inner strength, respect for others, self-respect and confidence.
Corona virus. What was the impact? You came up stronger than ever? How this virus quarantine impact British boxing and boxers in general?
(father) The coronavirus has had an impact on boxing here of course but most boxers are using it as a time to reflect, refocus, work on some weaknesses and come back fitter and stronger. The worst thing about competitive amateur boxing coming to a standstill here due to the virus has been the cancellation of some of our national championships including the senior elite open class national championships. Both Charley and us as a club felt that he could have done very well in this competition and perhaps even have won. We are yet to discover if this championship will be rescheduled for this year or if it will be missed all together and Charley will have to refocus on next year.
(son) When the Corona virus came around I wasn’t too worried about staying in shape at first haha. The reason for this was because I thought it was going to be around for a long time. A couple of weeks into lock-down I thought I’d better start getting back to my normal routine, as in England there are signs of the gyms being opened sooner than we first thought. At the moment I am not at full fitness, but I am already well on the way. With the virus obviously came the disappointment of no more contests. Which meant I wasn’t able to compete in the senior Nation Eliets. This was a competition I was looking forward too from the turn of the new year because this would have set up a possible journey into the professional ranks for me.
That is my ultimate dream! So when I heard that the competition was being cancelled it was a huge upset for me for sure. It’s obviously not just me this virus has affected as a boxer and I really do feel for everyone. There are boxers who were like myself, preparing for high level tournaments and boxers who were just about to start their boxing journeys ect. I feel as though everyone will be itching to get back and wanting to show everyone what they train for.
What British boxing style have that no other style have?
(father) It’s hard to find something about British boxing that is unique. We have boxers both amateur and professional of every type of style that you can think of. We are very good as a nation particularly one so small.
(son) Personality I don’t believe in a specific style for a certain country these days. I feel as though the style of a boxer is made up of their personality and their background. This is why boxing is so amazing! Think about all the different styles of fighters we see? Each boxer has their own style and they are owning it. It’s just incredible to think about.
(father) My favorite boxer is Lomachenko.
(son) My favorite boxer is most definitely Lomachenko! He seems to defy physics and is just mesmerizing to watch. I’ve definitely taken parts of his style and tried to add them into my own. He’s pretty much achieved everything at all levels of boxing too, which just proves his quality.
Last question! When your sparring together who wins?
(father) If we were to spar together now? I would probably be put to sleep (laugh)!
(son) If me and the old man was to spar? I’d just let him get out of breath and watch him crawl out of the ring (laugh)!