Chris Evangelou: Boxer Turned ActorTweet
Fighters post careers is of the biggest issues in the sport. Time and time again we see boxers and MMA fighters fighting way past when they should because they have no plans for after their career. Chris Evangelou is one boxer that saw this and made a move to better himself for after boxing. A boxer turned actor, Evangelou has already started in Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen. The movie was released to awesome reviews and put together a story about Michael Pearson, played by Matthew McConaughey, who is a weed dealer in the UK. Evangelou played a henchmen who was actually a boxer named Showtime who ended up helping Pearson and company with some dirty business.
Chris Evangelou And His Boxing Career
As previously mentioned, Evangelou was first a pro boxer. Fighting out of the UK. Evangelou amassed a 13-3 record. His boxing career began due to being in a boxing family. He looked up to some of the biggest boxing icons of the 90’s.
“I didn’t just stumble into a boxing club like most people do. I’ve always been a part of a boxing family like my father loved boxing when we were growing up. I used to stay up to 4am for the [Mike] Tyson fights and the Evander Holyfield fights. We I don’t know if he’s as big in America, but Naseem Hamed too. He was undefeated for a long time. I used to stop to watch try and watch him lose, but he never used to lose. So we were always that kind of boxing family, it was a bit of a ritual that we did, a little tradition that every time there was a big fight. My father would wake the house up at like 3 AM and then we’ll come downstairs half asleep and and watch Mike Tyson, who is my my favorite fighter of all time. But what got me into boxing.”
While the love of the sport was there at an early age, Chris Evangelou didn’t actually begin boxing until he was deep into his teens.
“I actually got into boxing actually doing the sport very late in my life. I was about 17 years old. When I was when I was 10 years old, my oldest brother, Preston, used to box and that’s the closest I’ve got to boxing physically, just around the house. When I was 17, I had an argument outside of my college, and it was it wasn’t even a fight, it wasn’t a fist fight. No one threw a punch. But I felt like someone had made me look like an idiot in front of my girlfriend at the time. We call it being mugged off. Basically he mugged me off and made me look like I was a nobody and and that really hurt me and I hurt my pride. So when I went home that night, I said to my dad, ‘I want to learn to defend myself, I want to have that bit more confidence in confrontation.’ And my dad drove me to a boxing club the next day. And he said, ‘You’re going to start boxing.’ And literally that was that was how it all started. That’s how it all began.”
Evangelou didn’t have a peachy walk from that point. He was in a not-so-good neighborhood and had to step lightly. “I stepped foot into a club in Tottenham; Tottenham is a bit of a rough area where I’m from, and it’s got some guys there that you don’t really want to cross paths with in a confrontational way. I was thrown into the ring with these guys. So I was being fed to the lions at the beginning. But I held my own and I learned the skill of boxing, and a year later, when when I had my first fight at 18 years old, an amateur fight, The Flash was born, I believe.”
The Flash is the nickname bestowed to Evangelou. He used his speed to get him to the vacant BBBofC Southern Area Super Lightweight title shot. While he didn’t win the belt, Evangelou believes this was a real turning point in his career. Despite being handed his first loss, Evangelou didn’t let that keep him down.
“I was going for my 10th fight that was for title and was pretty much a massive turning point in my career. I had sold like 1000 tickets, everyone wanted to see me fight it was live on Sky Sports. And unfortunately, while I boxed probably one of the best performances I’ve ever boxed, the judges deemed it that I didn’t win that fight and he gave it to my opponent. And that was sort of like the, the thorn in my career where I had that loss on my record. It’s all over YouTube and American fans are still messaging me ages after saying that they couldn’t believe that decision. I took it I swallowed that bitter pill and I carried on.”
Now that his career is in the books, a couple moments have stuck out in Evangelou’s head as his favorite moments in his career.
“As an amateur my favorite moment was winning the national title of England in 2006. That was when I fought every week for about three months to get to the finals and it was crazy. It was like I had to keep waiting the whole time and I made myself a hermit. I didn’t go out, I took every girl’s number out my phone. I went Rocky style you know? In Rocky IV, he went and just just trained and I said to myself, ‘I’m going to give it everything,’ and fortunately, I won the tournament. I was coming up against guys with triple my experience. I fought three SS army soldiers during that in that tournament, so I was really proud of myself. That was the highlight of my amateur career.”
The second half of what Evangelou looks back in most was his most memorable moment from his professional career. “I won the international welterweight title when I broke my hand in the first round. And it was actually broken in in four places in one bone if you can believe it. It was like just a shattered bone basically. I carried on fighting for the entire fight and saw the last bell with one hand and then I went on to win on points. I lose my left hand for the whole fight and took a battering on my right side of my face, though, because I couldn’t defend myself. I won the title that night and that was that was a true Rocky moment for me. I even cried in the dressing room.”
The Fury-Wilder Saga
Boxing’s biggest event of the year so far has been the rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. While the first fight went to a draw, Fury did the unthinkable and knocked out Wilder in the seventh round of the second fight. After the fight, Wilder went on to make a myriad of excuses for losing the fight to the lineal heavyweight champion. Don’t take Evangelou’s nationality as someone who will automatically pull for his countryman, Tyson Fury.
“I like Wilder, I think he’s a fantastic athlete. I learned his story a couple years ago about why he went into boxing and it was very touching to me. He was boxing for money, basically because of his his daughter who was unwell. He needed money for medication and things like that. So he went into boxing for her and he became the World Champion. And for me, that’s an amazing story. So I do admire him. I love Tyson as well. So for me, I was kind of spoiled with that fight because I got to see two amazing fighters actually fight each other.”
Now the two heavyweights have agreed to a third fight. While the original date in July was pushed back to around September, the fight seems imminent. Evangelou is excited to see them run it back.
“I’d love to see them in a third fight. Personally, I believe that Fury won the first fight by one or two rounds. It was it was closer than people said it was though. Like people were saying it was an outright robbery and whatever. I don’t think it was a robbery. I actually gave my opinion on social media and I actually said that I can justify a draw because of the first three rounds. Nobody had done anything in the first three rounds of that fight. And you always give those rounds to the champion. So people don’t realize that Wilder was up by three points going into the fourth and then the two knock downs as well. So having to see them in the last fight in the second fight was amazing. Tyson fury pulled it off. I didn’t think he’d do that. But I think now he’s beaten Wilder so badly, I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s a good idea for Wilder to go in for a straight rematch. It’s going to be an interesting fight. I’m gonna have to go with Tyson Fury to win the third as well if I’m honest.”