Manuel Charr changes name back to Mahmoud, signs new promoter deal
WBA Heavyweight Champion Mahmoud Charr announced today that Epic Sports & Entertainment has become his promoter.
“With all the excitement and rebirth of the heavyweight division, Mahmoud and his manager, Christian Jäger, realized that they could add a seasoned boxing promoter behind Mahmoud,” said Epic Sports CEO, Ivaylo Gotzev.
“I flew over to Germany last week and sat down with the charismatic Charr and his team. We shared a common vision for Mahmoud, we planned ahead, and so we struck a deal.”
“This man’s story is really one of a kind. Like many fighters, Mahmoud started out on the streets and through hard work and sheer dedication to his craft, he made it to the stars.
“He is currently the reigning and defending WBA Heavyweight Champion of the World. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to his story–the things he has been through—it’s like a Hollywood thriller,” continued Gotzev.
Charr’s move to a new promoter is not the only significant development in his career within a week. A few days ago, Charr announced that he was changing his first name from “Manuel” and was going back to his roots and using the Arab name that his parents had given him at birth.
“Manuel is a name given to me by German marketers. I didn’t choose it, and I didn’t want it. I am Mahmoud, the name my parents chose for me—it means beloved of God,” stated Charr.
Growing upon on the streets in Beirut, Mahmoud began his career in kickboxing, eventually switching to boxing after he came to the attention of the famous German boxing coach, Uli Wegner.
In Charr’s first title challenge bout against Vitali Klitschko in September 2012, the bout was stopped in the fourth round due to a cut Charr sustained, notwithstanding Charr’s strong protests that he could continue.
Three years later, after being repeatedly criticized in online postings on Facebook, Charr challenged his detractors to face him one-on-one like men, instead of hiding anonymously.
One detractor did, but instead of facing Charr one-on-one, while Charr was eating a late night snack in a German kebab shop, he shot Charr four times in the stomach in a drive-by shooting. Charr was hospitalized and barely survived. Today, the scars from his surgery are an ugly reminder of the dark side of life.
Nine months after near death, Charr was back in the ring. After two successful comeback fights in 2016, Charr received some devastating news from his doctors—he had the hips of an 80-year-old man (congenital hip dysplasia) that required immediate surgery.
So, at age of 32, Charr underwent a double-hip replacement in May 2017. While most in boxing thought that the surgery would surely put an end to Charr’s boxing career, a mere six months later, after hundreds of hours of rehab to learn to walk again, let alone mastering the deft footwork required of a boxer, Charr was back at it in the ring, but this time, he was challenging Russia’s Alexander Ustinov for the vacant WBA World Heavyweight Title.
In what many in the sport saw as a major upset, Charr displayed his mettle, dropping the Russian Ustinov in the 8th round before going on to win a unanimous decision and becoming the first World Heavyweight Champion ever to have been born in the Middle East.
Charr’s story would not be complete, nor would he be where he is today, however, without the crucial assistance that came from a chance meeting with the Austrian business tycoon and founder of Easy Motion Skin®, Christian Jäger. Charr and Jäger immediately hit it off with Jäger becoming Charr’s manager.
It was Jäger who masterminded and orchestrated Charr’s rehabilitation and training for his title shot at the Easy Motion Skin training facility in the Tyrolean Alps. Jäger was there for Charr for every step of his rehabilitation, recovery and training for his world championship fight.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Christian’s Easy Motion suit exponentially decreased my recovery time after my double hip replacement,” said the Champ. “They say God works in mysterious ways, and I believe that, because if it wasn’t for that chance meeting with Christian, I don’t think I’d be the Champion right now.”
“What I witnessed Mahmoud do to get himself ready to fight for the world title after his surgery was nothing short of miraculous,” said Jäger.
“I am very proud of my contribution to Mahmoud’s victory and his making history as the first Arab World Heavyweight Champion. They can never take that away from him, and it was an honor to be part of boxing history. Now we are getting ready to do it again.
It’s funny, I started in this sport a few years ago and the one analogy about the boxing business that has stuck with me is it’s like playing three dimensional chess, but where all three boards are spinning.
“For Mahmoud’s next fight, since we going up against the undisputed grandmaster of boxing in Don King, we decided to level the playing field and brought in some experienced partners from America to be Mahmoud’s promoter and assist us in planning out his future. We are very excited and grateful to welcome Epic to Team Charr.”
“Mahmoud Charr is a man on a mission,” said Gotzev. “We are excited about his potential. He has the looks of a movie star, can fight like the bionic man, has a larger-than-life personality, big heart, speaks perfect English and he’s the heavyweight champion of the world—what more could a promoter ask for? We are extremely excited to be working with Mahmoud and Christian and believe that together we will make a very formidable team.”
“The Heavyweights are back in business, and there are some epic fights being made. The current talent pool is expanding ever so fast, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and many top and talented contenders will only lead to great match-ups for Mahmoud down the road and hopefully result in one undisputed heavyweight champion who will transcend boxing and capture the imagination of the public,” Gotzev continued.
“The heavyweight division has always been the crown jewel of boxing. Mahmoud, as the first Arab heavyweight champion, is in an enviable position to arbitrage on all the excitement that is happening now. Our mandate is to keep him there and that’s what we plan to do.”