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World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: Matthew Charleston

Posted on May 5, 2016                                              Bookmark and Share
By: Clive Baum



Since the World Boxing Federation was originally founded by American Larry Carrier in 1988, many of the sport’s biggest names have won a WBF title, and proudly defended the blue, red and gold belt all over the world.

In the Champions Of The Past Series we take a closer look at some of the boxers who held WBF titles in years gone by, from lesser known champions to world renowned fighters, legends of the sport and current or future Hall of Famers.


Former WBF Intercontinental Super Welterweight Champion Matthew “Hollywood” Charleston was not quite a world-class boxer, but between his debut in November 1990 and his final fight in January 2008 he fought plenty of world-class operators. Some would say too many.

Charleston was born on December 22 1967 in the state of Georgia, and so had not yet turned 23 years old when he started his career as a prize-fighter, with little fanfare, on a small show at the Libra Ballroom in Atlanta-suburb Decatur, against fellow debutant Anthony Kyle.

Things started promising for the lanky Charleston, as he stopped Kyle in the very first round, and Decatur would become a good place for him to ply his trade in the early part of his career, when he was still a prospect. In fact, in less than two years he fought there on twelve occasions, winning every time.

While he was not matched against the best of opposition, Charleston still did well to build a nice-looking 18-0 (8) record on the US southern circuit, backed by promoter Jerry Hill, winning fights in places such as Doraville, Georgia, Nashville, Tennessee, Demopolis, Alabama, and of course Decatur.

Most of his opponents had less than impressive records, but he did overcome respectable challenges from Victor Sanchez (5-1) and Terry Acker (10-2), and captured the Southern Boxing Association Junior Middleweight (Super Welterweight) title along the way.

But despite boxing on shows that also featured former Heavyweight champions Pinklon Thomas and Leon Spinks, it was a big step up for Charleston when he challenged Wayne “Troubleman” Powel (30-4-2) for the Detroit-born Texans NABF title on April 29, 1993 at the Sheraton Kensington Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Powel was indeed trouble for Charleston, who was completely overwhelmed by the more powerful man. After three knock-downs in the second round, the fight was waved off and Charleston had suffered his first loss in the paid ranks in devastating fashion.

But Charleston would not have much time to dwell on the defeat, as he quickly jumped on an opportunity to resurrect his career. Just over two months later, on July 10, he fought Floyd Peavy (16-6) for the vacant WBF Intercontinental Super Welterweight title at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

In a true “Make-or-Break” fight for both boxers, Peavy also coming off a decisive loss, Charleston proved to be a notch above his adversary and didn’t look like a boxer who was more or less destroyed in his last outing. With sharp combinations and strong determination, he knocked Peavy out in four rounds.

But, if Charleston found new confidence in his performance against Peavy, it would soon be shattered. He returned to the ring the following November, in Mobile Alabama, against perennial contender and fan-favorite “Jesse” James Hughes (16-5), and was knocked out in three rounds.

Three months on he was matched with future WBA World Middleweight Champion Julio Cesar Green (15-1). The fight, in Saint Louis on February 12, 1994, was scheduled to be for Green´s NABF Light Middleweight (Super Welterweight) belt, but went ahead as a non-title bout when both boxers failed to make weight.

In this fight it became clear that any hopes for Charleston to reach world level, much less become a world champion, were unrealistic. The New York-based Dominican was too good, too strong, too fast and too hungry, and stopped Charleston already in the first round.

But in April, Charleston rebounded with a decision victory over Charles Daughtry (6-6-1), setting up a defense of his WBF Intercontinental title in August against undefeated Rhett McAdams (8-0) in Louisiana. And Charleston had one good performance left in him, as he retained his title by ninth round stoppage.

November 7, 1994, appears to be the night when Charleston finally gave in and accepted that if he were to continue his career, it would be as a stepping-stone for more talented boxers. Fighting at Middleweight, he was knocked out in the second round by future WBO world titlist Lonnie Bradley (16-0) at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood.

With very brave management, he fought again already in January of 1995, as a Light Heavyweight, getting dominated and stopped in nine rounds by mediocre Australian John “Rocky” Marceta (10-3-2), broadcast live on USA Tuesday Night Fights from Atlantic City.

During the cause of the next thirteen years, Charleston fought sporadically. He won a few easy fights against over-matched opponents, but was beaten many more times, fighting as high as Heavyweight, by the likes of future and former world champions Montell Griffin (22-0), Alfred Cole (27-2), Wayne Braithwaite (15-0) and Michael Nunn (56-4).

When he entered the Lonnie Bradley fight he was still the WBF Intercontinental Super Welterweight champion, only 26 years old and held a respectable 21-4 professional record. When he fought for the last time, a decision loss to Will McIntyre (38-4-1) in January 2008, he was forty and had not won since August 2000.

Charleston retired with a final record of 25-18 (10), going 7-18 in his last twenty-five fights. What started so promising, ended sadly with Matthew Charleston as just another recognizable name on the record of prospects and former champions looking to stay busy with, for them, a safe fight.

  Part 28: Jane Couch
  Part 27: Fahlan Sakkreerin
  Part 26: Kenny Keene
  Part 25: Yvan Mendy
  Part 24: Ronnie Magramo
  Part 23: Randall Yonker
  Part 22: Holly Holm
  Part 21: Vinnie Curto
  Part 20: Robin Reid
  Part 19: Lionel Butler
  Part 18: Mads Larsen
  Part 17: Ken Sigurani
  Part 16: Orlando Fernandez
  Part 15: Roger Turner
  Part 14: Roy Jones Jr.
  Part 13: Fitz Vanderpool
  Part 12: Steve Roberts
  Part 11: Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga
  Part 10: Junior Witter
  Part 9: Jimmy Thunder
  Part 8: Juan Lazcano
  Part 7: Jeff Malcolm
  Part 6: Ricky Parkey
  Part 5: Carl Daniels
  Part 4: Angel Manfredy
  Part 3: Samson Dutch Boy Gym
  Part 2: Greg Haugen
  Part 1: Johnny Nelson
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