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WATCH: The one-handed pro boxer who triumphs against the odds

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  • 2 min read

One of the most compelling and emotional tales of the year has to be that of Greek boxer ‘Evangelos’ Vaggelis Chatzis.

The 31 year-old scored a recent victory. This meant two and half years of hard work and recovery didn’t go to waste.

Determined to fight again after suffering a serious injury, Chatzis defeated Mikro Zdrazdo in Athens to put struggles to compete again firmly behind him.

Billed as the world’s ‘Only one-armed boxer’, Chatzis had surgery for a cancerous tumor when he was just three months of age. This meant he lost his arm from the wrist down. But Chatzis soon became an inspiration to many.

Making his pro debut against all the odds in 2015, Chatzis won a unanimous decision before losing his second pro bout.

A southpaw, Chatzis is forced to use an unconventional style, which obviously can be effective.

Chatzis now has plans to return to the United States to continue his career for the next few years.

“I still have a few years left in my boxing career. I can fight until I am 35. I want to return to L.A. to continue what I left behind. I will not stop until I succeed,” Chatzis told The Greek Reporter.

A documentary charting his original rise to become a pro boxer is available now. Released in 2017 by The Greek Reporter, it’s a highly motivational watch to anyone struggling with their dreams.


In 2018, another contender, Joe Hughes, managed to win the European title despite suffering from Erb’s Palsy.

Erb’s palsy or Erb–Duchenne palsy is a paralysis of the arm caused by injury to the upper group of the arm’s main nerves. Specifically the severing of the upper trunk C5–C6 nerves. These form part of the brachial plexus. Comprising the ventral rami of spinal nerves C5–C8 and thoracic nerve T1. – Wikipedia

Hughes has limited use of his right arm but still claimed the honor when travelling to Italy to defeat Andrea Scarpa in November.